Janis Mara of the Contra Costa Times published a summary article about the conflicted response to nuclear power in California titled Nuclear War in California. It is worth a read. Please remember as you read it, however, that good journalists work very hard not to reveal their own stance on an issue. That is why you will never hear me describe myself as a journalist – I write, but I do not just report the words that others utter without comment.
For example, here is an exchange that provides a point, counterpoint question whose answer that should be easy to resolve – how many jobs does a nuclear plant provide?
Speaking of the proposed plant, “You’re probably looking at 1,000 jobs after the plant is built,” DeVore said.
“He has just told you after spending $4 billion, you’ll have 1,000 jobs?” responded Ralph Cavanagh, energy program co-director for environmental group National Resources Defense Council, or NRDC.
“A nuclear plant is not a job-intensive use of money. Most of your money is going to equipment and a small number of operators,” Cavanagh said. “If you really want to create jobs, the best thing for Fresno would be to run a massive energy-efficiency campaign and cycle the dollars through Fresno’s economy.”
According to sworn testimony dated December 10, 2007, for example, the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, a two reactor power station in California, provides 1400 jobs with an average paycheck that is 60% higher than the county average where the plant is located. In other words, it seems that DeVore is much closer to reality than Mr. Cavanagh. That is especially true when you consider how many jobs might be produced by turning off unused lights, installing efficient light bulbs and putting weather strips on windows and doors.