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Victory for Grassroots Activism and Public Safety: San Onofre Nuclear Plant Closure Announced

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page, Organic Transitions page and our California News page.

From his California beach house at San Clemente, Richard Nixon once watched three reactors rise at nearby San Onofre.  As of June 7, 2013, all three are permanently shut. 

It's a monumental victory for grassroots activism and it marks an epic transition in how we get our energy.  

In the thick of the 1970s Arab oil embargo, Nixon said there'd be 1000 such reactors in the US by the year 2000.  As of today, there are 100. Four have shut here this year.  Citizen activism has put the "nuclear renaissance" into full retreat.  

Just two of 54 reactors now operate in Japan, where Fukushima has joined Chernobyl and Three Mile Island in permanently scarring us all. 

Germany is shutting its entire fleet and switching to renewables. France, once the poster child for the global reactor industry, is following suit.  South Korea has just shut three due to fraudulent safety procedures.  Massive demonstrations rage against reactors being built in India.  Only the Koreans, Chinese and Russians remain at all serious about pushing ahead with this tragic technology. 

Cheap gas has undercut the short-term market for expensive electricity generated by obsolete coal and nuke burners.  But the vision of Solartopia---a totally green-powered Earth---is now our tangible long-term reality. 

With falling prices and soaring efficiency, every moving electron our species consumes will be generated by a solar panel, wind turbine, bio-fueled or geothermal generator, wave machine and their green siblings. 

As of early this year, Southern California Edison's path to a re-start at San Onofre seemed as  clear as any to be expected by a traditional atomic tyrannosaur. But with help from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator-to-be Ed Markey (D-MA), a powerful citizen uprising stopped it dead.    


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