Category Archive: Diablo Canyon

Dec 10

Atomic Adobe, Diablo Canyon construction site

Ruins of adobe near planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant from March 2, 1968. ©The Tribune

The nuclear age dawned almost exactly 70 years ago under an abandoned University of Chicago football stadium on Dec. 2, 1942. Physicists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi conducted the first nuclear chain reaction. America and Great Britain provided home for many scientists fleeing Fascist oppression. Science thrives with the unfettered exchange of ideas. Ideology is …

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Nov 26

Diablo Canyon adobe and cattle, before construction of the atomic plant

Ruins of an adobe near the planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in 1968 before construction licenses were approved. ©Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune 3-2-1968

Over forty years ago an adobe ruin was the biggest structure at Diablo Canyon. At the time every major California utility was in pursuit of a nuclear option to serve California’s expanding population. In March of 1968 the construction permits had not yet been issued by the Atomic Energy Commission. By June archeology was underway …

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Sep 11

Abalone relocated from Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Divers on the Lot'a Fun prepare to move abalone off of Diablo Canyon before construction of the breakwater. ©David Ranns/Telegram-Tribune

Man outsmarts nature. It is a storyline that mankind has been working ever since the first tool was made from a stick, stalk or stone. Currently Pacific Gas & Electric is attempting to study the underwater fault lines offshore from their nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon. Whale and fishing advocates say the study will …

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Aug 23

Humpback whales off Diablo Canyon

A large group of humpback whales, seals, pelicans and seagulls were feeding in the ocean near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Powerplant on the afternoon of Sept. 8, 2000  © David Middlecamp

Photographer Bill Bouton recently recorded a remarkable series of humpback whale images at Avila Beach. When he posted them to his flickr site the the images were picked up worldwide in various media and one was published on the front page of The Tribune. A tip of the lens cap from one photographer to another. …

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Jun 17

LNG terminal proposed near Avila Beach


Avila Beach has long been the beach that locals go to. You can’t see it from the highway but the south facing beach can be sunny, less windy and warm when others are fogged in. It also has a history of being a gritty working town in as well as a vacation spot. Harford Pier, …

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Mar 15

Diablo Canyon reactor vessel installed


Atomic energy was a growth industry in the 1960s. In San Luis Obispo County, nuclear electric plants were proposed on the Nipomo Dunes and near Cayucos before construction began at Diablo Canyon. The state was undergoing a dizzying growth cycle and utilities were moving to stay ahead of projected demand. PG&E had wanted to build …

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Dec 26

Avila Truss Bridge No. 5 Pacific Coast Railroad

Bridge construction Avila Beach 1966ish.

This view over San Luis Creek in Avila Beach comes from a box that has mostly 1966 negatives. Unfortunately I can’t find the article, if anyone can determine the correct date I may be able to find the news clipping. There is no golf course or kids park but the Union Oil tanks are in …

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Aug 23

Diablo Reactor vessel

July 12, 1971 Earlier this month Diablo Canyon showed off a new reactor vessel head. The massive 70-ton unit took three weeks to travel by highway from Mt. Vernon Indiana. Quoting David Sneed’s copy The vessel head is one of the main components of a nuclear reactor and maintains pressure within the water cooled reactor. …

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Mar 29

Arco Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant

 September 10, 1987 San Luis Obispo County used to be home of the world’s largest solar-cell power station. Built by an oil company in 1983, the view of the Arco solar power plant was an eerie combination of age-old scenes of sheep grazing and science fiction technology. Every few minutes the silence of the Carrizo …

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Mar 11

Pete's Dragon on Location near Montaña de Oro

August 2, 1976 For a few weeks Hollywood magic flipped the coasts of the United States and transformed the coast south of Moñtana de Oro State Park into Passamaquoddy, Maine. A lighthouse was built near Point Buchon as part of Pete’s Dragon, the most expensive Walt Disney production to date. Passamaquoddy is the name of …

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