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What you need to know! 

No matter how many solar panels and wind turbines cover the land, the power produced when these two sources are not available could not come close to supplying the amount of energy needed. With that said, where will the extra source of power come from? The two most reliable sources would be fossil fuels and nuclear. One creates a sizable amount of emissions; the other creates no emissions. We need clean reliable power 24/7, which Diablo Canyon Power Plant has provided for many years.

No one has ever died due to exposure to used fuel. The uranium 235 dioxide fuel is only about 5 percent enriched. The fuel is needed to sustain a temperature of about 600 degrees Fahrenheit to produce enough heat to create the steam to spin the turbines to produce the electricity. When the enrichment of the fuel diminishes, new fuel needs to replace about a third of the fuel every 18 months. During the refueling, the entire unit goes through a maintenance check. Fuel removed from the reactor goes directly to the fuel handling building through a canal filled with purified water and placed in 40 feet of purified, borated water. Water, concrete, and lead are all excellent shielding to radiation, as are time and distance.

There has been a 2 1/2 year feasibility study completed at Diablo Canyon to ensure the plant is capable of producing clean, safe, sustainable power for many years to come. I know because I was there.

The radiation is created by splitting the atoms in the form of many fission fragments, each of which has a different halflife to become stable. Some start with just seconds, minutes, hours, days, and so on. In 10 years, 90 percent of the fission fragments (radioactive isotopes) have become stable. The slower decaying isotopes are much less intense. The used fuel is securely stored under strict guidelines and regulations.

Closing Diablo Canyon will create a huge loss to the ever-growing demand for power and put us in a form of power poverty. Also it will be a great loss to our local economy and to the many employees who will lose their jobs and businesses who may be forced to close.

Too many times for too many years people have just believed false information about Diablo Canyon. Then those lies are repeated without being researched for the truth.

Ellie Ripley

Arroyo Grande

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