Leaders from the World Business Academy reached out to the community Tuesday afternoon in an effort promote safe energy and raise awareness about the environmental impact and harmful carcinogenic heath effects caused by nuclear power plants on the Pacific coast of California.
During the luncheon fundraiser held at Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort, representatives from the nonprofit organization vowed to orchestrate a safer and less costly solution to end nuclear power.
World Business Academy’s Safe Energy Project, initiated in 1997 to monitor and report on the effects of the 104 power plants in the United States, strives to replace California’s remaining nuclear power plants — the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant — with renewable energy.
“Imagine the abundance that can be created from a truly renewable planetary fuel system powered by the wind, the sun and heat inside the Earth itself,” said Rinaldo Brutoco, founding president of the World Business Academy.
The organization is one step closer to its goal — the closure of the San Onofre plant in June proved to be a major victory for the organization.
San Onofre was decommissioned after the station operator detected a radiation leak in reactor Unit 3 on Jan. 31, 2012, which led to the discovery of 3,000 badly eroded tubes in the plant’s two steam generators. Unit 2 was taken out of service earlier that same month for a planned power outage.
Ultimately the plant was deemed unsafe due to faulty steam generators, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that posed a danger to the 8 million people living in the area.
Despite the closure of the plant, health and safety issues remain a universal common denominator for state and federal officials who still have no long-term storage solution for disposing of radioactive waste that will remain lethal for 10,000 years, as toxic and cancer-causing chemicals may over time penetrate the air, soil and ocean.
A short film by Saji Gunawardane, Troubled Waters, was presented over lunch that outlined the organization's growing concerns about the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County — the only remaining power plant in California that is currently operating under full capacity.
Jerry Brown, Ph.D., director of the Safe Energy Project, explained that the facility, operated by Pacific Gas & Electric, is located on sea level earthquake fault lines, Hosgri and Shoreline, that are less then a mile from the Diablo Canyon plant.
The 40-year-old nuclear facility had seismic upgrades in the 1980s but is not designed to meet U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety regulations and the chance that a large earthquake will occur at Diablo Canyon in any one year is about 1 in 6.
Brown explained that a massive earthquake would pose a nuclear catastrophe similar to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan that occurred when the plant suffered major damage from the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 2011.
The plant has been decommissioned but radioactivity continues to be released in the air and ocean. A study conducted by a Stanford University scientist determined that Pacific blue fin tuna born several miles off the shores of Japan migrate eastward toward California and are caught off the West Coast containing a higher amount of radioactive cesium than prior to the Fukushima incident.
Additionally, Brown stressed that power plants working under normal operation release harmful pollutants into the air containing Strontium 90, which can cause bone cancer and leukemia in people who are exposed to the pollutant — most of the victims affected by the deadly chemical are children and women.
The World Business Academy has partnered with the Chopra Foundation and the Empowerment Institute to embark on a safer and sustainable way to harness energy through the use of hydrogen power in automobiles and the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cells for use as a source of heat and electricity for buildings to drastically reduce CO2 pollution.
“Imagine California free from all nuclear power and fossil fuels — this future is possible,” Brutoco said. “And with the Hydrogen Conversion Project we can get there in 10 years or less.”
To find out more about the Safe Energy Project and the Hydrogen Conversion Project, visit the website by clicking here.
— Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.