Information on Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear Power Plants and Radiation

Nuclear power plants use the heat generated from nuclear fission in a contained environment to convert water to steam, which powers generators to produce electricity. Nuclear power plants operate in most states in the country and produce about 20 percent (20%) of the nation’s power. Nearly 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an operating nuclear power plant. Although the construction and operation of nuclear power plants are closely monitored and regulated, accidents can happen. Local, State, and Federal agencies, as well as the electric company operating the plant have emergency plans in place that will prevent, prepare for, or mitigate the consequences should an accident happen. 

Radiation Information - Radiation comes from natural and manmade sources.  

For more information on the emergency plans for Diablo Canyon: 

Office of Emergency Services

County of San Luis Obispo
County Government Center Room D - 430
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408-2790
(805) 781-5011

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
4325 South Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 546-5292

For more information regarding detailed information about the plant's status and any plant operational discharges: 

Federal 
Chief, Safeguards, Emergency Preparedness 
& Non-Power Reactor Branch
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region IV
611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400
Arlington, TX 76011
(817) 860-8100

State 
Environmental Management Branch
California Department of Public Health
PO Box 997377
Sacramento, CA 95899
(916) 449-5577

Local 
Director, San Luis Obispo County Health Department
Division of Environmental Health
2156 Sierra Way
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
(805) 781-5544

To learn more about nuclear power plants and radiation, please visit FEMA's Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program website.