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News of the Atom, from Harry Shearer on Le Show

Mr. Burns in a radiation suit hands out chunks of radioactive waste (well, Atomic Fireball candies) to Radioactive Man and other participants in a protest against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Nuke Waste Con Game session in Perrysburg, OH in late 2013.Harry Shearer, the voice behind Mr. Burns in The Simpsons (and many of the other characters too; see photo, left), regularly reports on "News of the Atom" on his weekly Le Show.

This week's News of the Atom is regarding Diablo Canyon -- the twin reactor nuclear plant built on a web of earthquake fault lines in San Luis Obispo, CA. Plant owner Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), in a historic agreement with environmental groups (NRDC, FOE, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility) and labor unions, has decided to not seek a 20-year license extension for the two reactors. PG&E determined this would be un-economic, in the face of ever more affordable efficiency and renewables such as wind and solar. Thus, Diablo Canyon Unit 1 and Unit 2 will permanent shut at the end of their 40-year operating licenses, in 2024 and 2025, respectively. At that point, CA will be atomic reactor-free, although there are many thousands of tons of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel still stored on-site at several closed reactors (San Onofre 1, 2, and 3 in s. CA; Rancho Seco in Sacramento; Humboldt Bay in n. CA).