Heather Hoff grew up in an environmentally conscious family so it came as a surprise when she got her first job at a local nuclear power plant, her parents were a bit hesitant.
“When I started, I was so skeptical, actually, of hearing local groups — protesters — that I wanted to go into the plant and see what was really going on and maybe catch them in something a little nefarious and expose them,” she said with a laugh. “So, kind of, go in as a spy and figure out what the true story was.”
She eventually opened up to the idea of nuclear energy as a source of clean energy.
“I went and asked lots and lots of questions for years and years, actually, before I started to realize that nuclear aligns really well with my environmental values,” she said. “It produces a huge amount of power, without emissions, on a pretty small piece of land. So it’s pretty cool.”
She receives less exposure to radiation in one year of working at the plant in comparison to getting an x-ray or an ultrasound, Hoff said.
“Way less,” she
Hoff, along with her co-worker Kristin Zaitz, started the group Mothers for Nuclear as a way to inform others that it’s OK to support nuclear power. She hopes the group can help California reduce its emissions.
“Right now, almost 40% of our electricity still comes from natural gas, 30% of it comes from imports, which are unspecified, so they could be dirty, and that’s not the California that I grew up envisioning — being the green paradise — and I think we can do a lot better,” she explained.
She hopes to see all nuclear plants continue to stay open, “Because when they close, they’re usually replaced with fossil fuels.”
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