Malibu Warned of Diablo Canyon Dangers

Page 1 article reprinted from the May 14, 2015 edition of the Malibu Times

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant
in SLO County ranked by NRC
officials most likely in nation
to be hit by quake bigger than
it is designed to withstand

By Jimy Tallal

Special to the Malibu Times  (All photos by Kevin Lynn — provided independently not published in Malibu Times)

As the crow flies, Malibu is only about 120 miles from the state’s only remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Can;yon, on the coast of Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County.  What happens in the event the plant is hit by a tsunami or has an accident similar to Three-Mile Island or Chernobyl?  More than 50 people showed up to find out what the experts had to say at Saturday’s Malibu Democratic Club speaker series, and they say the results in Malibu might not be pretty.

Harvey IMG_3029
Harvey Wasserman

“It’s about time, especially following the Fukushima disaster, that we take another look at our own coastal nuclear power plant,” Malibu Democratic Club President Ann Doneen wrote in an email.

Following the March 11, 2011 Fukushima earthquake, Coneen said Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials marked Diablo Canyon as the most likely in the nation to be hit by an earthquake stronger that it was designed to withstand.  Paul Frey of Mendocino County, spoke at the event on Saturday and examined the health, economic and agricultural effects of a disaster at Diablo Canyon, and also looked at where radiation would be carried by prevailing winds and ocean currents.  Using maps developed by the Monterey Naval Research Laboratory and the UC Santa Barbara Ocean physics Laboratory as well as studying the aftermath of Chernobyl, he was able to show that the radiation cloud would mostly head south to Malibu and beyond.”The entire L.A. Basin is a natural dust trap that would also trap nuclear radiation,” Frey said.  ‘And the economic damage to California would be off the scale.”

A number of new earthquake faults in and around the Diablo Canyon plant have been indentified that were unknown when the plant was designed and built prior to when it started up in 1985.  For that reason alone, some experts say the plant is violating federal law by continuing to operate.

ralph talks
“This is important,” said retired Federal Judge Ralph Erickson. “We need to do something about this!”

According to a report in the L.A. Times, “New geological research shows that the Ventura fault is capable of producing earthquakes as large as magnitude 8 as well as severe tsunamis.  The fault runs through downtown Ventura, connecting to fault lines in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara . . . Previously, researchers didn’t think California earthquakes could produce tsunamis, since the San Andreas fault is so far inland.”

Doneen said that in July 2013, Dr. Michael Peck, former senior resident inspector of the NRC, tried for a second time to officially call for a shutdown of the Diablo Canyon reactors.  He cited the Hosgri fault discovered in in 1971 only 3.56 miles offshore, the Shroeline fault discovered in 2008 less than 1,000 feet from the ocean water intake structure and two smaller faults.  The NRC never released or ruled on his “differing professional opinion” document.

Harvey Wasserman, senior advisor to the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and one of the original anti-nuclear activists who coined the phrase “No Nukes,” also spoke at Saturday’s event.  He maintained that if Diablo Canyon applied for state and federal construction permits today on the same site, it would never be allowed.  In addition, he contends that over 30 years of aging has caused a weakening of the structure.

The Mothers for Peace nonprofit organization in San Luis Obispo, headed by Linda Seeley, The room  IMG_2990has been using every legal means at its disposal to get the Diablo Canyon plant stopped or closed down since 1973.  Their attorney in Washington, D.C. has filed against the relicensing of the plant based on statute limitations, seismic safety and high-level radioactive wast storage.  The plant’s current license expires in 2024 and 2025 (Units 1 and 2) and Pacific Gas and Electric has already applied to extend those licenses for 20 years behyond that.

Since the plant still operates under an exemption that allows them to “suck up 2.5 billion gallons of ocean water per day, killing all of the sea life, and then discharging it back into the ocean 20 degrees hotter, devastating the ocean floor around Diablo Canyon,” Seeley said.  Mothers for Peace is organizing a letter-writing campaign to the California Water Board to force them to build cooling towers.

“Since it won’t be economically feasible for them to build ooling towers, we hope they throw in the towel and withdraw their application for relicensing,” Seeley said.  “It’ll also cost them a bundle to make post-Fukushima changes now required by the NRC.”

Some participants IMG_3050-1

Special thanks to Malibu Democratic Club Member Myla Reson for
producing this special event.

Yay for Volunteers


Special thanks to Mary Fleischbein, board member (left) Marcia Hanscom (center), membership chair, and Dennis Aoki and Linda Mead (not pictured), all of whom check in members and their guests as they arrive at club meetings.  And to Jeudi Curtis (at right) who appeared in February to instill a bit of the spirit of Malibu, attesting to what it was like 63 years ago when she lived on a ranch along Cross Creek and Malibu was still a seaside outpost with ranches nestled snugly into the hills.  Also, many thanks to the board members who bring refreshments.

Get Listed in our Dem Club Talent Roster

Malibu Democratic club is preparing a skills and talent directory. Do you have special talents — such as calligraphy, photography, or computer design and layout? Are you all-thumbs-fast on cell texting? Are your social media skills superb? Do you give acting lessons? Teach wind-surfing? Set type? Play the clarinet? Tutor physics, walk dogs, give tours of Malibu? If so, we want to know. Send your name, email address and phone number to We’ll put it in a list and publish it here as an ongoing section — space permitting. Send us a photo, too. So tell us about your passions, your work, your frustrations. Put a face on the club. Your face! Because you and I and we — are the club that cares. We get it. Now, don’t be a stranger! Ya know?

Help Malibu Make a Difference in California

One year ago when you elected our Action Team slate we promised you an exciting and productive year. And in the last 12 months we’ve delivered:

• A fabulous club fundraiser headlining author Robert Scheer, and County Chair Eric Bauman, and a line-up of political luminaries including State
Controller Betty Yee and many more.
• A fundraiser for the Sen.Ted Lieu who subsequently became our U.S. Congressman, the outstanding Ted Lieu who represents our 33rd District Congressman.
• Malibu’s first public information session on the slow-growth Measure R, which thereafter passed by an overwhelming 60 percent!
• A visit by newly elected County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to our February Annual meeting in which she answered questions about development of the hills above the city, and provided an inside view of the inner workings of County government.
• An overhaul of our club’s dated bylaws. They now are designed to give you — our members — more of a say in club activities and endorsements.
• The Second Saturday Series, a calendar of topical monthly meetings.

Last month Veteran state legislator and born activist Tom Hayden inspired members, suggesting how to take local action to combat greenhouse gases. Coming up this coming Saturday (May 9 – see attached flyer) will be “Our Dangerous Diablo,” in which top national nuclear energy leaders will tell us about federal violations at our ailing, neighboring plant (May 9). In June, there will be a panel discussion on experts on “Earth, Weather and Fire.” And in July we’ll hear from State Sen. Fran Pavley about a range of state issues that are particularly important here in Malibu. Coming up late in summer we’re planning a fundraiser for Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, whom we endorsed in her race for U.S. Senate and in early fall we’ll have another fabulous fundraising party at the home of our fave philanthropist Dr. A.J. Marwah. Momentum is building.

Newspapers are writing about us and other clubs are talking about us. Pretty cool, right?

Is all that worth $30 in annual dues? We hope so. Please visit the “Join the Club” link in the scroll bar and renew your membership for this year. And keep in mind that in order to vote on endorsements your membership sign-up date must be at least a month before you vote.

So do it now while it’s on your mind! One other thing: according to brand new state party rules (explained below) the number of delegates allotted each club is tied to its number paid members. So it’s important to get as many paid members as possible. If you haven’t signed up officially since January 1, we still love you and you’ll stay on our list for a while, but technically you’re not a member anymore. So, please take a second, while you’re still at your computer.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our general meeting on the Second Saturday of each month. We’re grabbing headlines. Other clubs are talking about us. And we’ve got lots more ideas. There is so much MORE to do! Come join us and help make a difference in Malibu and beyond!

Toward a thriving democracy,

Ann Doneen