Diablo Canyon Power Plant's once-through cooling system (OTC) has finally been identified as a major killer of marine life by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board ("What lurks beneath," Dec. 17).
Before the Water Board gave PG&E a pass in 2015, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace commissioned San Diego-based Powers Engineering to study the environmental damage caused by OTC. That study documented that Diablo Canyon's cooling system draws in 2.5 billion gallons of water per day and discharges that water back into the cove 20 degrees (F) hotter, devoid of any life. Each year of operation, the plant sucks in more than a billion fish in early life stages while killing vast amounts of plankton, the foundation of life in our oceans.
The New Times quote of Thea Tryon, speaking on behalf of the Water Board, is revealing: "It was determined there was really no technical way of not having the thermal discharge."
Mothers for Peace has for decades asserted that the way to end the decimation of the marine environment is simple: shut down both units of Diablo Canyon's nuclear reactor. The Water Board, like PG&E, has always valued financial profits over environmental protection.
For economic reasons, PG&E has committed to shutting down the reactors—one at the end of 2024 and the other by December 2025. Unfortunately, billions more living beings in Diablo Cove will continue to be sacrificed for five more years.
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace