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SHUTDOWN: The California Fukushima Connection



“We got the final wake-up call at Fukushima.  We need to phase out and shut down the hundred and four reactors in America.  I will put it very bluntly.  We need to kill them before they kill us."
S. David Freeman
    Former Head of the Tennessee Valley Authority


California is a microcosm of a planet-wide quest for a nuclear-free and carbon-free energy future.  Its links to Japan's political and energy history are many.

The story behind the historic shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear generating station, located in tsunami and earthquake zones between densely populated Los Angeles and San Diego, is an instructive and empowering one for other ‘reactor communities’ around the country and the world. This dramatic narrative forms the first three episodes of the series, SHUTDOWN - The Case of San Onofre

These three episodes are nearing completion after over 7 years of work.


Episode 4: The California-Fukushima Connections - Weapons, Energy & Activism

Episode 5: The Demise of Diablo - California's 'Last Nuke Standing'

Episode 6: Seeking Solartopia - The Quest for a Renewable Energy Future



The end of the ‘nuclear age’ from an overdose of market and public opposition forces has begun.  Nine U.S. shutdowns have been announced since June 2013, and, globally - despite the moribund nuclear industry PR blitz - the international nuclear industry is existentially challenged.  A movement for a nuclear free future is resurgent. But it has deep roots in the past.  Our series traces those roots, as well as the fundamental connections between nuclear weapons, energy and waste.

Take the case of California:

In the 1980’s, hundreds of nuclear reactors were planned along the Pacific coast. The people-powered Nuclear Free California (NFC) Movement reduced it to two stations - now only one remains at the Diablo Canyon site.

In 2013, with the closure of SoCal Edison’s San Onofre nuclear generating station, the resurgent NFC Movement has turned it’s attention to shutting down PG&E’s Diablo Canyon reactors for good. 

That would make California nuclear free…except for its two existing on-site repositories of tons of high-level nuclear waste at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon, and the fallout and radiaoactive debris from the on-going nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima.

It is a local story with planetary implications. In the 1980’s California led the way in renewable energy. Can California lead the way again…to a sustainable green energy future?

This documentary series says YES!

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