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KCSB-FM to Host “Devil in the Canyon: Downwind from Diablo Canyon Power Plant” – A Town Hall Meeting on Regional Nuclear Issues (Thursday, October 13)

On Thursday, October 13th, at 7pm, KCSB-FM will host “Devil in the Canyon: Downwind from the Diablo Canyon Power Plant,” a town hall meeting on the controversial Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, which is located at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo, California. Part of a year-long series of radio programs and public events commemorating KCSB’s 50th anniversary, this community discussion at the Faulkner Gallery in the Santa Barbara Central Library will also be recorded for later broadcast.

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KCSB welcomes the general public to participate in the forum, which is free and open to the public. Confirmed speakers include Dan Hirsch (of the Committee to Bridge the Gap) and Liz Apfelberg (of San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace). Invited guest Lois Capps, U.S. Representative for California’s 23rd congressional district, is unable to attend, but will prerecord a special statement on the power plant just for this event. Representatives of Pacific Gas & Electric, the corporate utility that operates the two reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, respectfully declined to participate in the panel discussion.

Since its development during the 1960s, the Diablo Canyon facility has generated controversy because of its proximity to major seismic fault lines. In the wake of last spring’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, safety concerns and calls for the decommissioning of Diablo Canyon have increased. At the same time, proponents have argued for expanding the use of nuclear energy, citing both the depletion of natural resources and political instability in oil-producing countries.

Dan Hirsch, who teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the President of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, an organization studying nuclear safety for more than forty years. He will address safety issues at the Diablo Canyon plant specifically and nuclear energy more generally. Liz Apfelberg, an organizer with San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace will recount that organization’s history of activism since the launching of the facility and current litigation over its proposed relicensing.

The event will be introduced by KCSB News Director Monica Lopez, and co-facilitated by KCSB’s Associate News Director Elizabeth Gutierrez and Advisor Elizabeth Robinson. KCSB plans to present a quarterly series of Town Hall events on different topics of interest to our community, with the goal of later or live broadcast.