Who are you?
Mothers for Nuclear is a new environmental organization started by two mothers, Heather Matteson and Kristin Zaitz, to organize pro-nuclear mothers to speak out and begin an international dialogue about nuclear power and environmental protection.
Why are you focused on mothers?
Because mothers are powerful. We will do anything to protect our children. We need that level of commitment if we are going to protect our children's health, the environment, and the climate. Mothers should be the biggest advocates for nuclear. We believe they will be, once they learn the truth.
What are you asking people to do?
If you support nuclear power, share your story. If you don't, but are open-minded, ask us questions. We work at a nuclear power plant and know a lot about what it is and how it runs. You can ask questions and we'll do our best to answer them here, on our Dialogue blog, or on our Facebook page.
Are you just trying to save your jobs?
No. If Diablo Canyon is closed, the two of us will get other good jobs, either at PG&E or elsewhere. But our kids will end up breathing dirtier air, and we will have failed to keep our promise to leave behind a world better than the one we inherited. We started Mothers for Nuclear because we feel an obligation to speak out and start a conversation.
What do you hope to accomplish?
We hope to help people see nuclear for what it is, a vitally important environmental technology, and overcome the fears they have that are mostly based on misinformation. Once that happens, policies will change, nuclear plants will stay open, and new nuclear plants can be built. We would like to see all fossil fuel plants replaced by clean sources of energy including solar, wind and nuclear power as quickly as possible.
Why are nuclear plants closing early?
Nuclear plants are closing for the same reason everywhere: unfair policies against nuclear motivated by popular fears. Wind and solar have boomed over the last five years, thanks to generous federal subsidies and state mandates that have excluded and disadvantaged nuclear power.
But isn't nuclear dangerous?
Nuclear power is the safest way to generate grid electricity, period. Year after year, independent public health experts review the data and publish their findings in leading scientific journals. Nuclear always comes out ahead. There is zero debate among public health researchers and scientists about this question.
What about the accidents?
The two worst accidents, Chernobyl and Fukushima, show that, even in the most extreme situations, there is little to no health impact on the public. The greatest damage is caused when people panic or respond in self-destructive ways to anti-nuclear fear-mongering — another reason for people to learn the truth about nuclear.
Can't we just switch to solar and wind?
Hospitals, schools, cities, and everything else that keeps us and our children safe need power 100 percent of the time. We don't have large-scale electricity back up which is why solar and wind, which produce power just 20 - 30 percent of the time, are backed up by fossil fuels.
Do you really think people can get over their fears?
Yes. Throughout history people have overcome all sorts of fears, from vaccines to electricity to people who are different than them. We get over our fears by making them explicit, talking about them with family and friends, and understanding the facts.
Are you an industry front group?
No. We are two moms who have been trying to save Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear plant, and decided we needed to ask other moms for help. Nobody asked us to make this web site and we didn't ask anyone's permission to make it. Indeed, we would like to emphasize that we do not speak for our employer, Pacific Gas & Electric.
Are you working with any environmental organizations?
Yes, we have partnered with a new environmental organization, Environmental Progress, which is working to save nuclear plants, including Diablo Canyon, at risk of premature closure, by fighting for their fair treatment under the law.
What will donations be used for?
We both have full time jobs and are hoping to use donations to cover the expenses of editing and posting new stories, responding to questions here and on social media, and travel.
I have a lot more questions about nuclear. Where can I get answers?
Please ask them as comments on our Dialogue page. As we answer them, we will post updated answers here.