The Nuclear Mirage

by Andrew Gunther

In 1979, I stood inside the containment building of a nuclear power plant. The shiny steel reactor vessel at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant outside San Luis Obispo had yet to be loaded with nuclear fuel. I was touring the facility as a staff member of the California Assembly Office of Research, so I could educate Assembly members about nuclear power. It was a hot topic. The worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history had happened earlier that year at Three Mile Island. I could see all around me the complexity and risk involved with generating electricity from nuclear fission.

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