IBEW 1245 has a Rally for Diablo Canyon at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on April 4th, 2016.

Californians for Green Nuclear Power (CGNP) began in 2013 when San Luis Obispo residents, environmentalists, and retired Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) workers joined together after the shutdown of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in Southern California. After the accident at Fukushima, Governor Brown and natural gas interests had targeted our state’s two nuclear plants for replacement with natural gas. SONGS was shut down in 2013, and though California’s Public Utilities Commission had promised it would be replaced by electricity from renewable solar and wind, it hasn’t happened. It was replaced almost entirely by increased natural gas generation, raising California’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 8 million tons in less than one year.

Concerned about the future of Diablo Canyon and California’s greenhouse-gas emissions, Californians for Green Nuclear Power began a series of meetings with other concerned residents, and became a non-profit entity in 2016. Since then, CGNP has been actively involved in public affairs, actively opposing PG&E’s application to shut down Diablo Canyon in 2025 before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). CGNP conducts rallies, interviews, and meetings with local officials, and continues to maintain a presence with a booth at SLO’s Thursday night Farmer’s Market.

CGNP’s activism is directed in two principal directions: 1) preventing the shutdown of Diablo Canyon, and 2) promoting development advanced nuclear reactors, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Physicists, nuclear engineers, software engineers, pipefitters, students, mathematicians, and environmentalists of all stripes work together in this group to bring recognition to the zero-carbon contribution Diablo Canyon makes every day. The plant generates over two billion watts of clean electricity, 24/7—about 9% of all electricity in California. DCPP produces 18 billion kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which is more than the power of five Hoover Dams combined. 

During CGNP’s program on Oct. 15th titled, “Nuclear Now: Why Climate Can’t Wait,” the group will present an overview of recent developments in California and host two special guests:

Director David Schumacher will be presenting a screening of his award-winning documentary, “The New Fire”, a documentary chronicling the challenges of young nuclear engineers developing next-generation reactors—ones they hope will provide clean and safe solutions to the world’s future energy needs. Nuclear Engineer Kent Welter of Nuscale Power will describe some of the inner workings of NuScale’s revolutionary Small Modular Reactor (SMR), which many believe will solve two perceived barriers to adoption of nuclear energy—cost, and safety.

This event provides CGNP with the opportunity to personally connect with the Cal Poly community in order for our students to learn how to step up to face the problem of climate change. Contrary to many, CGNP members believe it’s a problem with a solution—one within our reach—if we have the courage and determination to meet it head-on.

Admission is free, but attendance is limited. Tickets are available at https://www.cgnp.org/tickets/.

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