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Wasserman writes: "Had Friday's 7.1 earthquake and other ongoing seismic shocks hit less than 200 miles northwest of Ridgecrest/China Lake, ten million people in Los Angeles would now be under an apocalyptic cloud, their lives and those of the state and nation in radioactive ruin."

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 was recorded in Southern California. (photo: Reuters)
A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 was recorded in Southern California. (photo: Reuters)

The Quake to Make Los Angeles a Radioactive Dead Zone

By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

06 July 19


e are THIS CLOSE to an unimaginable apocalyptic horror:

Had Friday’s 7.1 earthquake and other ongoing seismic shocks hit less than 200 miles northwest of Ridgecrest/China Lake, ten million people in Los Angeles would now be under an apocalyptic cloud, their lives and those of the state and nation in radioactive ruin.    

The likely human death toll would be in the millions. The likely property loss would be in the trillions. The forever damage to our species’ food supply, ecological support systems, and longterm economy would be very far beyond any meaningful calculation. The threat to the ability of the human race to survive on this planet would be extremely significant.     

The two cracked, embrittled, under-maintained, unregulated, uninsured, and un-inspected atomic reactors at Diablo Canyon, near San Luis Obispo, would be a seething radioactive ruin.

Their cores would be melting into the ground. Hydrogen explosions would be blasting the site to deadly dust. One or both melted cores would have burned into the earth and hit ground or ocean water, causing massive steam explosions with physical impacts in the range of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The huge clouds would send murderous radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere that would permanently poison the land, the oceans, the air … and circle the globe again and again, and yet again, filling the lungs of billions of living things with the most potent poisons humans have ever created.

In 2010, badly maintained gas pipes run by Pacific Gas & Electric blew up a neighborhood in San Bruno, killing eight people. PG&E’s badly maintained power lines have helped torch much of northern California, killing 80 people and incinerating more than 10,000 structures.

Now in bankruptcy, with its third president in two years, PG&E is utterly unqualified to run two large, old, obsolete, crumbling atomic reactors which are surrounded by earthquake faults. At least a dozen faults have been identified within a small radius around the reactors. The reactor cores are less than fifty miles from the San Andreas fault, less than half the distance that Fukushima Daiichi was from the epicenter that destroyed four reactors there.

Diablo cannot withstand an earthquake of the magnitude now hitting less than 200 miles away. In 2014, the Associated Press reported that Dr. Michael Peck, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s site inspector at Diablo, had warned that the two reactors should be shut because they can’t withstand a seismic shock like the one that has just hit so close. The NRC tried to bury Peck’s report. They attacked his findings, then shipped him to Tennessee. He’s no longer with the Commission.

All major reactor disasters have come with early warnings. A 1978 accident at Ohio’s Davis-Besse reactor presaged the 1979 disaster at Three Mile Island. The realities were hidden, and TMI spewed radiation that killed local people and animals in droves.   

Soviet officials knew the emergency shut-down mechanism at Chernobyl could cause an explosion — but kept it secret. Unit Four exploded the instant the rods meant to shut it down were deployed.

Decades before disaster struck at Fukushima Daiichi, millions of Japanese citizens marched to demand atomic reactors NOT be built in a zone riddled by fault lines, washed by tsunamis.

In California, ten thousand citizens were arrested demanding the same.  Diablo’s owners hid the existence of the Hosgri Fault just three miles from the site. A dozen more nearby fault lines have since been found, capable in tandem of delivering shocks like the ones shaking Ridgecrest. No significant structural improvements have been made to deal with the newfound fault lines.

The truly horrifying HBO series on Chernobyl currently topping all historic viewership charts shows just a small sample of the ghastly death and destruction that can be caused by official corruption and neglect.

Like Soviet apparatchiks, the state of California has refused to conduct independent investigations on the physical status of the two Diablo reactors. It has refused to hold public hearings on Dr. Peck’s warnings that they can’t withstand seismic shocks like the ones now being experienced so dangerously nearby. If there are realistic plans to evacuate Los Angeles and other downwind areas during reactor melt-downs/explosions, hearings on them have yet to be held.

In the wake of the 2011 explosions at Fukushima, the NRC staff compiled critical reforms for American reactors, including Diablo. But the Commission killed the proposed regulations. So nothing significant has been done to improve safety at two coastal reactors upwind of ten million people that are surrounded by earthquake faults in a tsunami zone like the one where the four Fukushima reactors have already exploded.

There are no excuses. These seismic shocks will never stop. Diablo is scheduled to shut in 2024 and 2025. But massive advances in wind, solar, batteries and efficiency have already rendered the nukes’ power unnecessary. A petition demanding Governor Newsom and the state independently investigate Diablo’s ability to operate safely is at

That petition began circulating before these latest quakes. The continued operation of these two reactors has now gone to a whole new level of apocalyptic insanity.

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Harvey Wasserman’s Green Power & Wellness Show is podcast at; California Solartopia is broadcast at KPFK-Pacifica, 90.7 fm, Los Angeles. His book The People’s Spiral of US History: From Deganawidah to Solartopia will soon be at your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+36 # economagic 2019-07-06 13:27
Further evidence that the real government is Global Megacorp, pulling strings behind the scenes backed up by veiled or direct threats against those in "civil government" who would have it otherwise. And of course there are also plenty of people in civil government who are ignorant enough or venal enough to side with Global.
-70 # Nom de Plume 2019-07-06 13:40
What a pile of blithering, unfactual, unscientific, untruthful nonsense!

Wasserman has no idea what he's writing about, and poses his own public danger by writing such crap and attempting to create panic when none is justified.

I request a factual rebuttal of his multiple phony assertions by competent scientists.
+49 # Henry 2019-07-06 16:11
"No idea?" How do you know? I request your own rebuttal of Wasserman's assertions — a factual rebuttal, mind you.
+14 # economagic 2019-07-07 14:57
-1 # RICHARDKANE.Philadelphia 2019-07-24 13:49
Faults go though many hundreds of tiny shakes many times if an unknown fault was under a nuclear power plant we would know it before3 it was ever finished being built "Nom de Plume" you should have explained better. Shame on me and the other posters for not correcting Harvey Wasserman earlier.
-70 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-06 14:08
God via Mother Nature is still in charge not MAN or worse yet Political Scientists! In the works already is portable nuke stations that can be moved around and not subject to MN. Here's some info on the Solar/Wind Scam that the Fashionable Left wants to force down our throats: Solar is quits every evening cold winter nights etc. Solar power is a redundant capital investment with benefits dwarfed by the cost. Fossil fuel plants can't be eliminated because there are many cloudy days.

During the day if and when the sun is out: electrical grid will be faced with excess solar power during the middle of the day, forcing the solar to be curtailed, wasting money spent on solar. Solar storage is EXpensive.

Yet the promoters of renewable power justify overpriced solar as a helping to save the Earth by reducing CO2 emissions. Their real interest is profit, not saving the Earth.

Solar energy works fine for remote cabins and weather stations in the mountains. For supplying the massive needs of modern society, it is quite useless – a scam. Solar is expensive. It can’t be counted to perform when it is needed. Solar stops when a cloud goes in front of the sun. It goes to sleep every night

About 70% of the cost is subsidized by the federal and state governments. Then, the promoters boldly claim that solar energy is inexpensive power. One has to ask, if solar energy is so cheap, why does there have to be a quota to force the electric utilities to buy it?
-54 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-06 16:27
IF CO2 created by fossil fuels was the problem which is is NOT .. and has been debunked by real science on the subject nor does it radically change weather patterns. The basis of it all is from the Self Centered Attraction to the issue by the well to do lefties. Educated in the finest universities and well off their concern is a narcissistic Humanistic View whereby .. Man According to them as they are Smarter than us all .. that Man .. The Self .. is the center of the universe .. and anything other like GOD . is some other kind of disconnect. Ancient times taught us no lessons those all those societies failed. Herein lies the greater problem .. it's in daily conversation and views .. and at it's basic level is a Spiritual War being waged every day .. on the face of the Earth ...
+22 # Jim Rocket 2019-07-07 02:24
So by "debunked by real science on the subject" you must mean the 3% of scientists that agree with you. You know, the ones who have gambling problems and bad divorces. The ones who need money more than they need their self respect. Sure, trust your grandchildren's future to them.
-7 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-08 13:25
Most here stand up for what they thing is right. That is a good thing. Yes i'm saying it's all contrived. And i try to put a handle on why i think it is at it's core. Politics and Politicians like PT Barnum said A Sucker is Born Every Minute .. they see no harm in what they are doing .. we'll lie tweak the stats outright lie as science .. because of the big bad boogie man of big oil. We know better so we'll keep repeating it. The Science in NOT there. 80% of Meterologist disagree whole heartedly .. the 97% was to a question .. Does man's behaviour have an effect on climate of course they answered YeS. But not to the beast they are driving today .. Radical Weather change and heating of the planet .. no they do not agree with that one ..
+33 # bobmiller101 2019-07-06 19:00
What a CROCK!!!!! You must work for the petro-chemical industry.
-22 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-07 00:12
Nope it's all a lie of major proportions and in my view quite EVIL. All of it is fomented as science however in a real Scientific Debate on the subject .. the history of altering data, to fit the models abounds .. this is not science at all .. and it that is that CO2 is radically altering the weather and heating the planet against the real evidence .. would not hold one bit of H2O .. do some research instead of relying on this man made contrived scare tactic lying by the Elite Humanists who's world is around themselves and the Self .. vs how it is supposed to be ..
-22 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-07 12:42
Solar energy is sold with a blizzard of lies and a pyramid of subsidies. The promoters have convinced the federal government to massively subsidize solar energy. About 70% of the cost is subsidized by the federal and state governments. Then, the promoters boldly claim that solar energy is inexpensive power. Industry lobbyists have convinced many states, including Nevada, to establish quotas for so-called renewable energy. In Nevada green, or renewable, energy is mainly solar energy and geothermal energy. Future expansion is likely to be in solar energy, because there are formidable problems involved in expanding geothermal energy. Geothermal is also expensive. One has to ask, if solar energy is so cheap, why does there have to be a quota to force the electric utilities to buy it? If there were freedom of choice hardly anyone would buy solar. The industry’s solution is to pass a law forcing people to take solar. A quota, imposed by law, makes it possible for solar promoters to get sweetheart contracts from electric utilities, because the utilities have to buy solar energy to fulfill their quota.
+7 # Jim Rocket 2019-07-08 10:09
Are you going to try and tell us that there are no subsidies for fossil fuel production? A world where oil and coal didn't get welfare handouts would look quite different from what we have today.
+11 # economagic 2019-07-07 15:15
No, he's just another Christo-fascist , who (I have been told) holds an engineering degree so should know better. He is so far of the rails as to be mostly harmless.
+45 # bobmiller101 2019-07-06 19:23
I live in Sonoma County, CA. On the coast is the quaint village of Bodega Bay; it was made famous by the movie "The Birds." At about the same time the movie was being made, 1963, PG&E was planning on building a nuclear power plant on Bodega Head. The containment shell was poured (a LOT of concrete looking like a giant can). AMAZINGLY, it was realized that the San Andreas Fault runs under Bodega Bay, only a few hundred yards away! Remember San Francisco after the 1906 quake? FORTUNATELY, saner heads prevailed and the all of Bodega Head is a now a Park. There IS a monument to this folly. If you ever go to Bodega, as you are making your way up the hill, stop at Campbell Cove and look for the monument to "The Hole in the Head." As an aside, I lived in Harrisburg, PA and left shortly before TMI. I moved to CA and lived a few miles north of Diablo Canyon. Finally, 5 years ago I moved away from Orange County where I lived not far from San Onofre. EVERY ONE OF THEM WAS PROBLEMATIC. San Onofre is closing, but they don't know what to do with the radioactive waste, which is a separate problem. We have geothermal electric being produced here (look up "the Geysers," it's the world's largest geothermal field), as well as Sonoma County having more solar power than just about anywhere, MUCH of it done by local home owners. And to the idiot who realized the sun only shines for part of the day, have you ever heard of BATTERIES???
+10 # Caliban 2019-07-07 01:13
"God via Mother Nature is still in charge not MAN or worse yet Political Scientists! In the works already is portable nuke stations"

To be clear BK - are these new "portable nuke stations" divinely designed or just divinely inspired?
-1 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-10 01:53
No God via Mother Nature as in Earthquake! Man can't fix it. That bothers so called modern man today. Portable nukes yes stations that can be moved around not attached to the earth .. not vulnerable to MN as much. Can be plugged into and out of the grid & moved around unlike the costly beastly expensive big power plants. The industry is and will go that way ..
+7 # economagic 2019-07-07 15:20
Oh, portable nukes--JUST what we need. And yes, Russia is stationing a couple in the Arctic to further enhance the melting of the ice.
0 # RICHARDKANE.Philadelphia 2019-07-24 13:52
BKnowswhitt your comment would make sense if battery storage didn't exist
+60 # vt143 2019-07-06 14:10
So obfuscate, hide issues, lie and all the while gutting regulations that might, just might, save is.
Unfettered capitalism is an economic, ecological and spiritual suicide trip.
+51 # Farafalla 2019-07-06 14:17
Diablo Canyon should have never been built. Proper seismic studies of the area had not been carried out. Construction was faulty with blueprints being read upside down. San Onofre, closer San Diego just shut down forever because of brittle pipes and unanticipated wear and tear. The two are very similar reactors. Shut them down!
-29 # oldoilieotto 2019-07-06 15:02
"The realities were hidden, and TMI spewed radiation that killed local people and animals in droves."

This is simply false. No doubt that nuclear reactor safety can and should be improved, but lets keep it honest.
+22 # Henry 2019-07-06 16:13
"Simply false." I see ...

What makes you think so?
+29 # 2019-07-06 17:58
i went to central pennsylvania within a year after the accident. i personally interviewed the victims. i personally saw the dead animals.
-20 # dsfingers 2019-07-06 15:11
While the intent to bring attention to the problems faced by the nuclear industry and Diablo Canyon specifically is admirable, the fact that this article contains many distortions of fact and emotional hyperbole will only lead many to dismiss the subject out of hand. Not least of those distortions is that what destroyed Fukushima was not the earthquake but the tsunami that followed. The facts, as they are, are bad enough, but the incorrect facts and emotional hyperbole only distract and open criticism and debate where the facts are the facts and they speak for themselves.
+22 # Henry 2019-07-06 16:17
"many distortions of fact" — how about giving us the facts, then, since you know them so well?

Got this one: The earthquake that caused the tsunami is not what destroyed Fukushima. It's the tsunami that the earthquake CAUSED that caused the tsunami. My my my.

Any others you can correct for us?
+12 # 2019-07-06 23:03
unit one was already melting when the tsunami arrived.
+8 # economagic 2019-07-07 15:10
Hyperbole, yes--and we would probably benefit from more of it to counter the propaganda from Global Megacorp. There appears to be some in this very thread. Such distortions of fact that may exist are peripheral. Wasserman's assertions are essentially true and his arguments are sound.
+34 # dotlady 2019-07-06 15:21
Scary situations like this all over -ex: over-aged Indian Point 30 mi. from NYC on fault-lines, not closed yet! Why don't we heed warnings? Because to continue with our greed-based system of denial is a lot easier. Our own children see this clearly. We also now have, by order of the FCC, a similarly irresponsible and "captured" agency, 5G wireless "small" cell towers and antennas every few yards on roofs and poles in our cities that are zapping stronger and new unmeasured wireless frequencies into our bodies. Involuntary exposure 24/7. No studies on long-term health risks for the public and living things. If we really cared about life on earth, we would be frantically working to correct these things, denying ourselves our fossil fuel-based and wifi conveniences and pleasures. That only happens briefly in the aftermath of a disaster. It will come. Sad.
+24 # chapdrum 2019-07-06 18:24
This predates Don T. as "president," but that combined with this story, is darn good evidence that those in control (and in office) are utterly insane.
+15 # unitygroup 2019-07-06 20:44
Yes, this was close, and this facility, as well as all others, should be shut down, even if only because nobody has reliable technology to effectively seal used rods for 30,000+ years. By the way, we should all know that radiation has been coming down with the rain on the US for the past 8+ years from Fukushima, affecting all food and all water. And, radiation released, intentionally or not, into the Pacific have now radiated every body of water in the world. I would suggest staying away from fish. They plugged Chernobyl in 6 months, and I have read articles suggesting that 1 million may have died as a result of that catastrophe. That will be a fraction of what the Japanese disaster will cause, as it has remained unsealed to atmosphere and water all these years. It takes 10-15 years for leukemia to progress.
+16 # Douglas Jack 2019-07-06 21:53
Harvey Franklin Wasserman (born December 31, 1945) is an American journalist, author, democracy activist, and advocate for renewable energy. He has been a strategist and organizer in the anti-nuclear movement in the United States for over 30 years. He has been a featured speaker on Today, Nightline, National Public Radio, CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight and other major media outlets. Wasserman is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service,[1] an investigative reporter, and senior editor of The Columbus Free Press where his coverage, with Bob Fitrakis, has prompted Rev. Jesse Jackson to call them "the Woodward and Bernstein of the 2004 election."[2] He lives with his family in the Columbus, Ohio, area. Mention the name Harvey Wasserman & Nuclear Engineers in the know, listen up, because Wasserman knows the nuclear field.
+19 # DongiC 2019-07-07 00:39
The nuclear reactors trolls are out in force doing their best to negate the findings of organized science and research. They even deny the most fundamental applications of common sense; you don't locate nuclear reactors in earthquake zones. The dangers of an accident and subsequent meltdown leave radiation whose half life is thousands of years. Only a society made mad by its pursuit of profits would make such a profound and far reaching decision. One that is completely irresponsible.

Global Mega Corp would have us all become blind, unthinking robots ignoring the peril of its profit-making activities. It claims the right to endanger us all and fiercely resists any Progressive attempt to safeguard everyone's right to life itself. It is time we taught this nefarious organization a basic lesson: the planet's right to survive supersedes Global Mega Corp's right to make a profit!
+14 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-07-07 15:00
" Nuclear Power, too cheap to meter". Popular slogan from the 50's.
So, if the sun doesn't shine at night, I guess we can land astronauts on the Sun at night. Good idea HUH?
+14 # economagic 2019-07-07 15:27
"Nuclear Power, too cheap to meter"

Actual statement by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Lewis Strauss in 1954. Today the NRC suddenly claims he was talking about fusion power. A friend of mine from high school who recently retired from several high-level positions in the field of inertial containment (using lasers to squeeze the capsule containing the hydrogen) says its still decades away, if ever. The fission power program was at least in part a cover for the nuclear weapons program.
+9 # chapdrum 2019-07-07 17:59
As Roger McGuinn observed in the mid-60s, "scientific delirium madness." Either we are insane, or our politicians are - hmm, logic would dictate that it's both.
-3 # Nom de Plume 2019-07-08 00:01
"TMI spewed radiation that killed local people and animals in droves."

Really? How many people have been "killed" by this "spewed" radiation from TMI?

+3 # 2019-07-10 21:03
i was there. read our book KILLING OUR OWN which is available free on the internet.

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