Memories of a Movement – Creating the Bodega Bay Atomic Park

Memories of a Movement by Mark Evanoff



“The crucial issue here, as I see it, is not
Bodega Head itself, but the whole sorry example
of unplanned exploitation. I often feel that
the PG&E has as much missionary zeal about
this affair as the conservationists, that they
want to develop this thing to show they can do it.”

Joel W. Hedgpeth

PG&E began scouting the California coast in 1955 for favorable sites to build nuclear power plants. Engineers speculated that Bodega Bay, forty miles north of San Francisco, provided an ideal location. The close proximity to electricity users in the San Francisco Bay area reduced the cost of building power transmission lines. Yet the area surrounding the plant site was sparsely populated, complying with the Atomic Energy Commission safety requirements. The headland provided a natural separation between the ocean and the bay. Water from the bay could supply water to cool the reactor, and the ocean could serve as a large basin for the hot water dumped from the power plant.

Utility representatives tried to win the favor of local property owners and county officials. From their point of view, the poor community would welcome the economic growth spurred by an electric power plant. The small fishing village of Bodega Bay lacked even the basic services of adequate roads and a good water supply. However, Rose Gaffney, owner of most of the headlands, didn’t like PG&E, and objected to any construction on her property. The aging woman, twice-widowed, and a native of Poland stood more than six feet tall. The land had been in her deceased husband’s family since 1864. One of her favorite past times was to survey her property with binoculars, then chase unsuspecting trespassers away with a baseball bat. She enjoyed walking over her property and gathered a vast collection of arrow heads and Indian jewelry from the Head.

Everyone in Bodega Bay knew Rose Gaffney. “Rose was a character,” a friend recalled. “She annoyed almost everyone, but goddamn it, at the same time everybody loved her. She liked a good squabble and wasn’t going to let PG&E get her land. She didn’t know her own strength and could almost squeeze a person to death when she hugged them. And she stank. She probably hadn’t taken a bath in thirty years.”1

Ken Diercks, assigned by PG&E to negotiate with Gaffney, remembered, “She was a true American citizen. She had a love for the land that was being taken away from her.“ Diercks tried unsuccessfully to win her favor by sending potted plants and offering financial advice.

PG&E wasn’t the only group interested in the headlands. The State Division of Beaches and Parks had been trying since 1929 to acquire the area for a state park, but Rose Gaffney, true to her character, had been unwilling to sell. To give the state legal muscle, Sonoma County designated the area a park in its 1944 Master Plan. At the time, the state couldn’t condemn property to make a park unless the county supported it. In 1956 the state legislature appropriated $350,000 to buy the site and the Division 1 of Parks began negotiations to purchase the property.

The University of California shared an interest in the area. The numerous tide pools and extensive mud flats provided a rich and undisturbed collection site for all kinds of marine creatures. During the summer the University held classes in a rented shack on the bay. On April 2, 1956, University of California Chancellor, Clark Kerr, recommended to University President, Robert Sproul, the establishment of a marine lab on Bodega Head. University representatives approached Newton Drury, Director of Beaches and Parks, to jointly purchase the site.

Dr. Cadet Hand, who helped select the lab site remembered, “We expressed interest in Horseshoe Cove. The response essentially was ’Oh no, that is too prime a i site to mess up with a marine lab.’ But the Parks people agreed that a lab further out i on the Head would make sense.”

PG&E officials never announced plans to build a power plant at Bodega Head. Instead, the land agents made arrangements to buy the property before the state. To keep the Division of Parks out, PG&E persuaded Sonoma County Planning Director Jack A. Prather to drop the park designation from the 1956 Master Plan. Without park designation, the state lacked the authority to condemn private property. The County T Board of Supervisors approved the plan change over the objections of the Division of Beaches and Parks in February 1956. PG6cE managed to kill the park immediately after the legislature made it possible. y To salvage the park, the division of Beaches and Parks reduced their planned purchase from 947 acres to 300 acres and planned a small park north of Bodega. The University of California completely withdrew its plans for a marine lab. The administration’s actions upset members of the marine lab siting committee who recommended that the governor mediate the dispute with PG&E. PG&E easily convinced the University of California not to fight for Bodega Head.

The utility had numerous contacts within the administration: PG&E’s counsel, John Sproul, was the son of University of California President, Robert Sproul; Walter Haas — a member of the PG&E Board of Directors, was a major financial contributor to the University of California, Berkeley; James Black, Chairman of the Board of PG&E spearheaded the $2.3 million fundraising drive to build the university’s student union. As a final incentive PG&E offered the University free use of a training center for physicists planned for Bodega Head. The Atomic Energy Commission shared enthusiasm for the reactor planned at Bodega, and the University of California didn’t want to upset the AEC. The University managed AEC weapons research facilities, and the University helped develop the atomic bomb. Assistant to the Chancellor, Glenn Seaborg, discovered plutonium at University of California facilities.

Because of the University’s close ties with the AEC, members of the marine lab siting committee feared speaking out publically against the University’s abdication to PG&E. In an attempt to save the lab, committee members enlisted the help of Dr. Joel W. Hedgpeth, the director of the College of the Pacific’s Pacific Marine Station at Dillon Beach, six miles south of Bodega Bay. Hedgpeth, a marine biologist of international acclaim, edited two books and published numerous technical articles. With Hedgpeth’s considerable influence among scientists and journalists, committee members reasoned, the prospect of building a power plant at Bodega Bay might receive coverage in the newspapers and become a matter of public debate.

The public still had not been told about PG&E’s plans for the Bodega Head. Hedgpeth encouraged reporters to dig for more information and force PG6cE to admit its plans. None succeeded until Josephine Lorna Alexander, a stringer reporter for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and a resident of Bodega Bay introduced herself to Hedgpeth looking for story ideas. Hedgpeth outlined PG&E’s plans and a mutual friend suggested a method to get PG&E to admit it.

“I telephoned President Sutherland leaving only my name,” Alexander remembered. “After annoying them for days, someone came on the line speaking for the president. I told him I had received information that PG&E was planning to build a power plant at Bodega Head, and although I couldn’t reveal my source, it seemed only fair to have a statement. And it worked, I got a statement. The man said the company planned to begin building a steam generating plant, either conventional or nuclear by l960.”

The story ran on May 23rd, 1958 and two days later Alexander and Fred Fletcher, also a reporter for the Press Democrat, wrote a long article on the plant’s possible effects. “I spoiled PG&E’s plan,” Alexander continued. “They’d told me, ‘Frankly we had not meant to make an announcement for two years. By the time all the preparations could be made — the permits obtained and the land condemned. We hate things published prematurely. You can’t imagine the screwballs that come out of the cracks to make trouble.”’

After the announcement, PG&E’s nuclear information specialist Emery B. Dowell wrote in an internal memo, “I doubt that [Alexander] ever let the story die. She’ll I keep right on following it until it concludes itself on facts and events.”2

The intrepid Alexander continued her visits to Dillon Beach and to talk with Dr. Hedgpeth and gather information for her weekly column. Hedgpeth explained the problems with earthquakes, and potential hazards from nuclear power plants, and how the government subsidized development.

“After a few of these columns,” Alexander explained, “my landlord, a friend of Nin Guiddotti, a pro PG&E County Supervisor, started to tear the roof off my rental, and gave me a week to move out.

“I couldn’t give up a good fight for lack of a roof, so I got an acre, an old trailer, and the children built an adjoining cabin. Sympathetic readers and the staff of the Press Democrat helped me relocate.”

Meanwhile Hedgpeth wrote letters to PG&E executives to learn more about their development plans. On May 26, 1958, Hedgpeth questioned Norman Sutherland on the practicality of siting the plant on Bodega Head. “Indeed the whole region seems a bit too close to the San Andreas fault for comfort, and I wonder if you have adequately considered this aspect. If you have considered this and plan to construct a plant which would be unaffected by possible shifts of twenty feet or so (as happened at Point Reyes Station in 1906) along the fault, it is still in order to consider a survey of near-shore currents to determine the possible course of warm water from the various possible sites that a company has in mind.”3

Sutherland wrote back explaining that a geologist had been retained to study the effects of the San Andreas fault on both a conventional and a nuclear power plant. Hedgpeth alarmed at PG&E’s response, traveled to San Francisco August 14, 1958 to meet company representatives. An engineer told him that the company did not expect any difficulty from the San Andreas fault and construction could be planned to circumvent difficulties. After all, San Francisco was built on a fracture zone between two faults. No one admitted PG&E actually planned to build a nuclear power plant. Hedgpeth didn’t know that PG&E ignored the advice of its own geologist who warned against building at Horseshoe Cove because the entire Headland was prone to strong shaking during an earthquake.4

When PG&E didn’t listen, Hedgpeth began to warn the public and political officials about the problems with nuclear power. With the help of Alexander’s columns, Hedgpeth explained the hazards of radiation and the story of an accident at the Windscale plutonium facility in England. On October 10, 1957, an accident released radiation into the environment, contaminating milk six times above permissible levels. All milk within a 200 mile radius of the plant had to be dumped. Hedgpeth developed a map which l showed how a similar accident at Bodega could threaten the dairy industry in Sonoma and Marin counties.

Hedgpeth suggested the Marin County Board of Supervisors request Sutherland to admit what type of plant was planned at Bodega head. Sutherland refused the request but did write, “. . . Naturally we would not want to do anything that would be injurious to the public.”5

Hedgpeth, realizing a nuclear plant was in the offing, suggested that records be established of cancer rates and birth defects in the area before the plant was built so the effects of the plant could be determined in the future. “I am well aware that some people maintain that fallout and radioactivity will, after all, kill less people than new automobiles,” he wrote to reporter George Duscheck, “But that’s no argument. This stuff will affect the children and it seems to me we need a more alert and sternly moral attitude about this sort of thing. . . . the same processes that makes eating mussels dangerous to eat in summer because of their accumulation of poisonous microorganisms works several hundred fold when it come to concentrating radioactive isotopes.”6

Hedgpeth challenged the undemocratic nature of building nuclear power plants and the lack of public involvement. In a letter to a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor he wrote, “I think the time is past when a power company should be allowed the sole power of decision making when it comes to locating the site for a power plant when nuclear energy is concerned. Certainly all aspects of this problem should be openly and frankly considered before this plant goes ahead.”7

PG&E, alarmed by Hedgpeth’s educational efforts, asked his superiors at the College of the Pacific, owners of the Pacific Marine Station, to persuade Hedgpeth to stop his activities. Hedgpeth recalled, “Their vice president crossed the hands with President Burns of the College. The Masonic buddies think I ought to educate myself a bit more. The Company’s idea is that I go to Los Alamitos and find that I can walk around the little reactor without getting hot ball and all will be well.”8

It was not long before opposition to the plant began to develop in a number of quarters. “There are a dozen of us that feel we were the movers and shakers of the opposition, “Josephine Alexander said. “In the early part of the fight, several people were doing work against the plant without realizing what other people were doing. I tried to report the different activities of the opposition in my column.” The prospect of a power plant in the community split the residents of Bodega I Bay. Most people in the county favored development. The Sonoma County Board of I Supervisors stood firmly behind the proposal. Local residents opposing the plant feared speaking out. Memories of the McCarthy period and red baiting were still well-entrenched in people’s minds. A good citizen simply did not challenge the local government or a major utility.

Hazel Bonnecke-Mitchell was not intimidated and became one of the first to actively organize against the plant. After PG&E made its announcement, Mitchell circulated a petition signifying opposition to the plant at a Farmers of the Sea Grange meeting. She later told Josephine Alexander, “Where else could I talk to so many people from so many places about the PG&E plant? . . . Well two or three people in the entire line were in favor of the plant. A surprising number said they had better not sign — they were employees of the power company. A good many said they wanted more information about the whole subject than they had been able to get from the papers. But more than 400 people signed the petition. That is 400 signatures got by one woman in one afternoon.”

It was not long before PG&E began to take notice of the developing opposition and sent a delegation to a December 1958 town meeting to calm fears and answer questions. The audience challenged PG&E’s development plans and questioned why it needed 600 acres to build a simple power plant. PG&E representatives replied that it needed flexibility selecting the ultimate site, and a large purchase enabled access for test boring on most of the Head. Joel Hedgpeth illustrated that the acreage was actually needed to meet Atomic Energy Commission requirements for a ¼ mile exclusion zone around the still secret nuclear plant. To accommodate PG&E, the county canceled plans to build a small air strip near Bodega Head. It didn’t want the airplanes to interfere with the power lines. 4

PG&E started having its own problems. In October 1959, after receiving discouraging reports from their consulting geologists, PG&E moved the location of the proposed reactor from Horseshoe Cove to Campbell Cove. To boost their public image, PG&E invited the University of California to return to Bodega Head and build a marine lab at Horseshoe Cove. PG&E wanted to show how a scientific research and a power plant could exist together in harmony. Members of the marine lab siting committee agreed to return only if thermal discharges from the power plant, less than a mile from the lab, did not interfere with scientific research. Routine water discharges’ totaled 1,250,000 gallons of water a minute, 18 degrees warmer than the surrounding ocean. Once a month PG&E planned to heat intake water 60-65 degrees above normal temperatures to kill the organisms living in the pipe. Scientists feared the 1,200,000 gallon discharge might kill the animals living in the ocean near the discharge pipe.

Members of the siting committee and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography investigated where ocean currents may carry the discharge water. The report, issued in 1960, indicated that Horseshoe Cove will “be bathed for period of some several hour in unmixed effluent near discharge temperatures.”9 i After reading the report, Dr. Roger Stainer, the new chairman of the marine lab siting committee, informed University Chancellor Glen Seaborg that the committee was no longer interested in Bodega Head. “My personal feeling, which I know to be shared by many of you, is that the Bodega Head site should definitely be abandoned. From the very beginning, it’s great attractiveness has resided precisely in the biological richness and variety of the immediate environment.”

So the search began for another lab site. After surveying the coastline, the committee again recommended building a marine lab at Horseshoe Cove despite the presence of PG&E. Although the power plant still reduced the site’s value, it was still the best site available in northern California. Ralph Emerson wrote to Chancellor Seaborg in November 1960 warning that “Periodic discharges of heated water could affect the rich natural biota. One serious shortcoming is now the unpredictable degree of ecological instability resulting from the activities of PG&E. . . Blatantly stated, a first class site is being sacrificed for a power generating facility.”10

To accommodate the University, PG&E agreed to time the anti-fouling cleaning schedule with southerly flowing currents. However, this directed the hot water to Joel Hedgpeth’s Pacific Marine Station, six miles south of the proposed plant. An angry Hedgpeth recounted that this memorandum of understanding was “actually a tacit concession that my point of view — and the interests of the Pacific Marin Station—were ignored. I felt personally insulted.”11

Hedgpeth seriously questioned the ethics of the arrangement. “But of course this does not deal with the basic problem — which is one of public morals since here the site is being selected with the understanding in advance that it will be less than optimum. There is probably no answer to this; for once a compromise of this sort has been made, however objectively, entanglement in fly paper is inevitable. And we are all entangled in this fly paper.”12

PG&E continued to provide assurances that the thermal discharge would have no serious environmental effects and proved the point with a consultant. But the original design for the University‘s marine lab included a temperature alarm on the intake system to warn of the encroachment of hot water. Cadet Hand, who eventually became director of the lab received an AEC contract to study the effects of a nuclear power plant on the environment.


The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, in a measure of support for PG&E, provided a use-permit without holding a public hearings on February 9, 1960. The Board, not wanting to “burden” PG&E, did not require the company to state what kind of plant it planned to build.

Doris Sloan, representing the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, asked the Board to hold a public hearing. But County Supervisor Everett Lampson responded, “I can’t help feeling we’ve aired this in the newspapers and in public sessions for a couple of years and I’d like to suggest that we do not delay any longer.”13

Supervisor Nin Guidotti told Sloan the Sierra Club “should have taken action sooner,” and shouldn’t try to delay “something that’s going to mean so much to the people of Sonoma County.”14

The Sebastopol Times charged in a May, 1960 editorial, that PG&E was given the use permit “in secrecy and under questionable circumstances.” Editors warned leaders about the almost unstoppable combination — county government in league with a lone private utility — privately steamroller its opposition by denying the right to make a full, public statement of its position and to demand clear, concise honest answers to its questions. Any amount of so-called ‘airing of the situation in the press is no substitute.”15

It wasn’t until July 1961, amongst great fanfare, that PG&E proudly announced the plans to build the Bodega Bay Atomic Park. Site preparation plans included excavating a hole 70 feet deep and 140 feet wide and building a new road on the head to gain access to the site. The county persuaded PG&E to build the road along the mud flats on the Western shore of Bodega Harbor to fit into local development plans. PG&E agreed to return the road to the county after completing the power plant.

The Bodega Bay Chamber of Commerce opposed the plan and filed a formal complaint against road construction with the State Lands Commission in December 1961 charging it interfered with the rich spawning grounds of the mud flats. Congressional Representative Clem Miller filed a second complaint with the Army Corp of Engineers, arguing that the roadway interfered with the federally maintained channel in Bodega Harbor. On January 25, the Corp agreed to hold hearings on the road, before giving permission to PG&E to begin construction.

Mi1ler’s efforts drew sharp criticism from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat in a February 2, 1962 editorial. {Miller] will have done harm to every tax-payer constituent in Sonoma County if the time required for the hearing unreasonably delays the completions of the Engineers’ study of effects on navigation and that in turn delays both the start and completion of the road and the building by Pacific Gas and Electric and its Bodega Bay Atomic Park.”

The Army Corp of Engineers held hearings on the road at the Grange Hall in Bodega Bay on February 15, 1962. It was the first time the public had the opportunity to speak out against PG&E’s activities. Cadet Hand opposed the road and testified on behalf of the University of California. “The roadway will destroy all the natural shoreline and cause the extinction of organisms and marine life which would have been used in study research at the station. Some of the very values which led us to choose this headland as our site in the first place will be destroyed.”

Several residents testified that dumping rocks into the Bay would push mud up y elsewhere. The weight of the road threatened to fill the harbor with mud, they contended. During storms, boats would blow onto rip—rapping and be destroyed, rather than blowing onto soft mud. “Fishermen are very wise people,” Cadet Hand recalled. “They have a lot of intuitive knowledge that engineers don’t seem to have.”

At the conclusion of the hearings, the officer in charged informed beleaguered participants that only testimony relating to navigation impairment would be considered—and approved the road. (Two years later the Corp wrote the County and requested it to do something about the mud waves impairing navigation, caused by the road.)

The California Public Utilities Commission held the next round of hearings. PG&E needed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, which could be obtained by proving the plant was needed, economical, and safe. Few people participated in the March, 1962 hearings. Bodega Bay residents, still frustrated by the Army Corp of Engineers hearings, didn’t think the drive to San Francisco to participate in the hearings would be worthwhile. Joel Hedgpeth, unable to attend himself, sent a letter of opposition. “The cost figures here are not the point: it is the waste of energy that may in the long run be more serious for our civilization,” he warned. “It is little less than corporate rape that such a place as Bodega Head . . . should be sacrificed for greedy technology as this. The Company assumes it has the right to do whatever it thinks best.”16

Harold Gilliam, the environmental writer for the San Francisco Chronicle testified against the plant. Prior to the hearings he wrote a feature story about Bodega Bay for the Sunday edition. Few other people showed up to protest the Certificate. PG&E, on the other hand, made sure it had respectable people to testify in favor of the plant. Nin Guidotti testified for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and was joined by California Governor Pat Brown’s advisor, Colonel Alexander Grendon.

Surprisingly PG&E presented no expert testimony on the geology of the area, nor did it present any exhibits to prove the assertions made by PG&E engineer J. Dean Worthington that the area was seismically stable. PUC staff attorney William Bricca objected to the hearsay nature of PG&E’s testimony, but the hearing officer overruled the objection. Bricca lacked the budget to hire expert witnesses to refute PG&E’s findings, and relied upon cross examination questions to learn more about the potential hazards of the area. “With a complete record you can always go back and say you are ignoring the evidence,” Bricca explained.

After the first round of PUC hearings Ed Mannion, a columnist for the Sonoma County Petaluma Argus Courier wrote, “after it was clear (that) nothing could stop the pressure-laden, smooth talking PG&E, I wrote a suggestion that, at the atomic installation dedication, all the officials involved in the ruin of one of the county’s best recreational areas should be dressed in pirates’ costumes.

“Shucks. Now they feel free to wear business-as-usual suits and matching socks. I had my heart set on seeing Supervisor E. J. Nin Guidotti dressed as Captain Kid, placing his cutlass on the shoulder of utility president Norman E. Sutherland and dubbing him ‘King of California and Protector of Sonoma County,’ while the Bowerman Ludcke-Prather axis plotted new electrical substations at Doyle and Wickersham Parks.”37

Mannion’s columns caught the attention of Karl Kortum, a Sonoma County native and the Director of the Maritime Museum in San Francisco. “I was furious when I learned the bastards wanted to screw up the harbor. We don’t have many harbors along the California coast and every one is precious. I drove to Sonoma County to look around and to talk with local residents and Joel Hedgpeth.

“The fishermen were hesitant to talk,” Kortum remembered. “Gradually their fears of damage to marine life and the fisheries emerged. They were angry about the -building of the bay flats road and the loss of a mud bottom to beach during storms.

“Dr. Hedgpeth illustrated that the problem of the fishing boat channel being so near the intake for the giant plant might force the intake to be out in the ocean. Thus making unnecessary the Bodega location. Hedgpeth plainly expected great changes in marine life in the area; when I asked at one point how many bays on our coast were infested with PG&E plants, he ripped out: ‘They’ve got all of them.”’

When Kortum returned home, he sat down at his desk (removed from the sailing ship Enos Soul) and wrote a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. Scott Newhall, the editor, and a friend of Kortum’s, looked the other way when his staff featured the statement as the only letter to the editor March 14, 1962:

Harold Gil1iam’s article “Atom vs. Nature at Bodega” (This World, February 11), described how one of the few harbors on our almost harborless Northern California coast is going to be hacked and filled and finally disfigured by an atomic power plant. How great, brooding California headland, sea-girt and of ancient granite, will be given a profile like neighbor Richmond and its gas tank. How a large State Park at Bodega has been killed, and a county park will be made to engorge steel towers and the familiar droop of transmission wires.

Nearly a quarter century ago, I fished for some days outside the Tomales Bay bar: Bodega Head lay to the north, enveloped in moods and mists like a cape thrust into the Irish Sea. I never closed with this headland and indeed remoteness seems much of its character. Even today no highway has ever been scratched in angular survey down its soft contour. And a bay filled with fishing boats intervenes between it and the nearest gathering point of the automobile.

Conservationists from the State Park Commission and the National Park Service came in the last decade to walk among the lupine and decided this should be public preserve.

But about the same time came men of a different type. They too walked out on the point and gave it the triumphant grance of demigods.

I am reconstructing. These men are engineers from a public utility, and as a member of the public it is my privilege and duty to speculate. The scene shifts to the home office:

“Our engineering boys think we ought to grab Bodega Head.”

“They do? (low whistle) That may be a little rough.”

“Why? Why more than Moss Landing at Humboldt Bay?”

“Well, it’s more scenic. There will be more protest. The state park people and the national park people are already on record for public acquisition.”

“Our engineers say we need it. We’ll just buy fast. Get in ahead of them. It’s legal.”


“What we can’t buy we’ll condemn.”

“What about public protest? This could get a little noisy.”

“Keep it on the county level. Or try to. Every service club in every town has our people in it rubbing shoulders. In the country opinion is made at the weekly luncheon.”

“How about the newspapers?”

“It’s the local businessmen who buy space. Oh, I don’t say we haven’t got some work to do. But these guys have got other things on their minds — they’re scratching out a living.”

“Have you got an angle? I mean apart from the fact that we want it.”

“Oh sure. We’ll get some releases and speeches on how the county tax base will be improved. We might even try calling it a tourist attraction.”

“And the county officials?”

“They’re o.k. We’ll set the tone up there and they’ll respond to it. Just as elected representatives should. Oh, you might get some idealists. . .”

What is the matter? Why do these things come to pass?

The answer is simple. Our engineering demigods are obsolete. The idea of shaking their pedestals to see if they will topple over has only lately come upon us. (A covey bit the dust lately when the Tiburon Bridge was cancelled.)

The engineers of this public utility may find that their callousness has crested at Bodega Head. Just as the Toll Bridge Authority engineers crested with the bridge that sags frugally from Richmond to San Rafael. Or the highway engineers with the two deck freeways that spoils Embarcadero.

An atomic plant doesn’t have to be build at Bodega Head. Without any expertise whatsoever, I can make that statement categorically. It is a matter of whose engineers you listen to.

Engineers have amazing resources. They have been able to prove that is mechanically impossible for a bee to fly…

“You can’t lick the biggest ‘city hall’ of them all…” wrote Ed Mannion in his column in the Petaluma Argis-Courier on February 17, pointing out that two friends, one a member of the grand jury and the other a prominent newspaper reporter, had urged them to give up the fight.

Well, Ed, you can lick them. If everyone reading this would take five minutes to write a letter they would be licked. But a licking is not what to ask for; regulation is sufficient — regulation in the full breath of the public interest. We have a Public Utilities Commission charged with doing just that.

Upon reading the letter, angry Bay Area residents wrote to the Public Utilities Commission demanding that hearings be reopened. More than 2400 people wrote letters or signed petitions, motivating the Commission to schedule additional hearings for May and June. But this time residents of Bodega Bay organized for the hearing.

“We realized the need to form an organization to fight PG&E,” Hazel Mitchell remembered. “We weren’t making a dent. The county government was for the company. We had to interest more people. We knew we had to get people involved from the University of California and the Democratic Council Central Committee. We were babes in arms and this was the first time we were faced with this kind of situation.”

Mitchell held an organizing meeting in her home to boost moral and to assure local residents that something more could be done. Dr. Joe B. Neilands, a bio-chemist from University of California, persuaded the Sierra Club to send David Pesonen and Phil Flint, both who worked on the Conservation Committee, to attend the meeting. Karl Kortum attended, along with his father. And of course, Joel Hedgpeth. Out of that meeting, the Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor formed.

Joel Hedgpeth suggested a strategy for approaching the PUC meetings in a letter to Joe Neilands. “The crucial issue here, as I see it, is not Bodega Head itself, but the whole sorry example of unplanned exploitation. There is no control to plan for these things. . . I often feel that the PG&E has as much missionary zeal about this affair as the conservationists that they want to develop this thing to show they can do it. As a result, within the company, there are also bitter enders and perhaps some compromisers. In short I doubt that you will find a clear black-and—white issue on either side.

“I do know that every naturalist who has anything to do with Bodega Head, including those working for the opposition, feels in his heart that this is not the place for a power plant. The engineers of course, feel otherwise, and as things are constituted, they appear to have the decision.

“It would certainly be to the public good if we did have on record exactly who in the University administration seems more interested in obliging the PG&E that in servicing the interests of its facu1ty.”17

At the May rehearing, the room filled with supporter and opponents of the plant. Participants cross-examined one another. Testimony was heard from the Sierra Club, local residents, and the University of California. The California state agencies submitted contradictory testimony.

Sam Rogers, a graduate student volunteering for the Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor described the hearing as “the biggest circus I’ve ever been a part of.”

PUC staff attorney William Bricca, pleased with the turn out, used the audiences’ expertise to establish a complete record. “lt was a wonderful bunch of witnesses. People were hard working and dedicated. Anybody who wanted to get their name in the paper came to testify.”

Ironically, participants on both sides of the issue knew one another. Bricca and Joel Hedgpeth had graduated in the same class at U.C. Berkeley in 1936. PG&E’s vice-president Robert Gerdes was also a long standing friend of Bricca’s, John Bonner, also a PG&E vice-president, attended U.C. Berkeley.

Rose Gaffney presented a slide show of the headlands and narrated the history of the harbor. PG&E attorneys objected ·to her ramblings and to the concept of a slide presentation during public hearings, but were overruled.

The California Department of Fish and Game challenged the assertion that the plant would not damage the environment, and requested several preliminary studies before the PUC made a decision to grant the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity:

  1. an assessment of the mixing characteristics of waters off Bodega Head, and the general patters of currents in the area.
  2. a qualitative and quantitative survey of marine ecology potentially influenced by the operation of the plant.
  3. collections and radio analysis of marine organisms for two years prior to operation of the plant.
  4. a continuing radioactive monitoring program fo the fish and wildlife resources during operation of the plant.

The College of the Pacific endorsed the proposal, but the University of California refused.

Phil Flint, working with the Sierra Club, unsuccessfully attempted, to prove collusion between PG&E and the State Division of Beaches and Parks and the University of California. “I was the guy that hit the bulls eye and I got roasted over the coals for it,” he remembered. “The tried to show I fabricated my position.”

Stalker Leopold, assistant to the Chancellor, came in to refute Flint’s accusations and to argue that a marine lab and a power plant could exist next to one another in harmony. But Dr. Leopold had no formal understanding of marine eco-systems and was out of his area of expertise.

Members of the marine lab siting committee grimaced during Leopold’s testimony. “It was the University’s decision that Stalker Leopold speak,” Cadet Hand recalled. “The siting committee did not make the recommendation. I would have preferred that no testimony at all be given rather than what was given. Sometimes you don’t control things. I remember sitting there feeling annoyed. He was more enthusiastic than he needed to have been.”

Leopold maintained that organisms benefited from the warm water effluent, and based his testimony on studies of British plants and the Savannah River plant. Under cross-examination he admitted that he hadn’t read the studies and didn’t realize that the ocean was 100 miles from the Savannah site. The British studies had used only a few samples taken over a short period of time.

“Let us most kindly say that UC boys had not had time to brief Stalker properly,” Joel Hedgpeth wrote, “but nevertheless they placed him in the position of giving erroneous testimony in the name of the university.”18

Hedgpeth wasn’t certain how to respond to Leopold’s testimony. “Now we are in the unequivocal pickle of having to request the University of California to withdraw its official testimony regarding this work. This means that as far as the testimony of this University is concerned, they had no evidence to make their decision. . . Morally the only sound positions have always been either to withdraw or ask the PG&E to withdraw.”19

PG&E counsel, Morrissey, asked Hedgpeth if the University would be wise to build on Bodega Head.

“I then realized the dilemma of the witness, especially in a hearing of this sort,” Hedgpeth wrote a friend recalling his testimony. “If I said what I really wanted to, I would be calling my friends fools. So I backtracked, and, in essence, perjured myself, because as a naturalist I considered the decision unwise at the time, and as a naturalist I still think it a poor decision. As an objective scientist — or trying to be one, I realized that much could be done with an impaired environment—indeed, much could be done in the situation. But it is not the sort of thing I was interested in doing. . . These fellows are my friends and for them I did not speak the whole truth, etc.”20

David Pesonen challenged Hedgpeth for not taking a stronger stand. “I can’t make it too strong that your acute scientific integrity provided just the loophole that the PUC needed to run through in ‘belying’ the position of those of us who kicked and screamed about UC ‘s position. I can’t help thinking that if you had been as unscrupulous as Leopold, just this once, it would have strengthened our position immeasurably — e.g. ‘The reactor will have a profound but unquantifiable effect on the marine environment.’ Now would that be so hard to say? If you were to bring your considerable literary talents out from under the bushel and start barking I foresee a lightning effect.”21

A local resident questioned C.C. Whelchel, PG&E’s vice president of engineering about the obscenity of a power line running across the Doran Park sand spit. He responded with a straight face, “I don’t know anything more aesthetically pleasing than a catenary curve. Everyone loves the Golden Gate Bridge and its gables.” When asked if the power line might interfere with the recreational value of Doran Park, Sonoma County Supervisor Nin Guidotti responded, “Ah hell, I can recreate under a power line as well as anywhere e1se.”

Marion Raebel, a local Bodega Bay resident who had been actively opposing the power plant from the beginning asked PG&E’s chief civil engineer, F.W. Mautz why the power lines could not be built underground. He responded that in the event of an earthquake, repairs would be too expensive, and it would take a long time to restore service. Earthquakes, of course, presented no problem for the reactor itself, he assured the bemused audience.

David Pesonen and Phil Flint, representing the Sierra Club had been instructed by the Sierra Club Executive Committee not to discuss the earthquake issue at the hearing and to stress land values. It was up to local residents to raise the earthquake issue.

Bodega Bay resident Ray Raebel, noticed that something was amiss with PG&E’s earthquake evidence. Marion Rabel remembered, “PG6cE showed a blown—up picture of faults in the area, mapped by the California Division of Mines. No fault was shown on the site. Ray, recognized the map, but it didn‘t look right. One of the faults was missing. He’d studied the faults in the area when he was an engineer helping to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

“To confirm his suspicion, he went to Dr. James Koenig of the California Division of Mines, who gave us a copy of the original map, which showed the Johnston fault running near the site. Christie Mannion showed it to the PUC and PG&E hit the ceiling. Dr. Koenig was subpoenaed to talk about the fault.”

Karl Kortum stood up in the back of the room and asked what would happen to the controls of a nuclear plant during an earthquake and held up a 20 inch by 24 inch photograph of a locomotive on its side taken after the 1906 earthquake. “PG&E’s counsel, Morrisey, turned slowly around to look at the photograph, studied it for a moment, and turned back around. He knew strong stuff was coming on earthquakes,” Kortum remembered.

PG&E’s engineer J. Dean Worthington, testified that the plant could be built earthquake safe. However,, the company still had submitted no evidence to support Worthington’s testimony. PG&E’s geology consultants and structural engineers were not .called to the stand to testify and submit to cross examination. When asked if such evidence would be presented, John Morrisey, replied, “Well, we didn’t intend to put any in. They are quite lengthy and quite voluminous. Certainly they are available for the Commission staff to look at and study. Indeed, if we can get extra copies, we will give you an extra copy.”

PUC attorney William Bricca again argued that without documentation and direct testimony of the applicant’s consultants, Worthington’s assurances of public safety constituted hearsay.

Phil Berry raised the point that “The more that Counsel makes it apparent that he does not want to have these original records made completely available to the n public, the more I become suspicious that there is something in these documents which is fairly important.”

PG&E agreed to submit the evidence after the hearings were over, thus making it impossible for plant opponents to challenge the evidence.

Alexander Grendon, the governor’s Coordinator of Atomic Energy Development and Radiation Protection, was asked if the plutonium produced by the reactor would be used to make atomic bombs. The hearing officer ruled the question out of order, and PG&E didn’t respond. At the time, the Atomic Energy Commission provided utilities credit toward future nuclear fuel purchases for the plutonium produced, and provided premiums for weapons grade plutonium.

The hearings provided people who opposed the building of the plant with an opportunity to get to know one another and to work together. David Pesonen emerged as the recognized leader. The hearings also solidified the Northern California Association

to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor as an organization. Pesonen eventually left the Sierra Club to volunteer full time with the Association. “It was my political instinct that Bodega could not be won on the land—use issue alone” Pesonen said. Working for the Association allowed him just the latitude he needed to try a number of different strategies.

Columnist Ed Mannion recalled, “Dave brought brains to the fight. Prior to that the group was held together by string.”

“I operated on instinct on deciding to which way to go and was exercising abilities I had not used before,” Pesonen continued. “I was waiting for paperwork to be completed for a forestry job working for the United Nations in Africa. I didn’t think it would last so long, and by the time the papers came through, I was so involved with Bodega, I couldn’t leave.”

David Pesonen served as Secretary of the Association with Jean and Karl Kortum, Joe Neilands, Doris Sloan, Sam Rogers, Doug Hill, and Joel Hedgpeth becoming the principle organizers. Discussions lasted through the night as the directors hammered out strategies,” Sam Rogers remembered, “It was the most bull-headed bunch of bastards I’ve been around. But it was fascinating and the most educational part of my life. People usually went off and did what they wanted to. We tried everything, and almost nothing worked.”

Pesonen further explained, “The basic plan was to educate the public on earthquake hazards, PG&E’s heavy tactics, and the beauty of Bodega Head that would be destroyed. We were a gnat on an elephant and we continued to nip away at them to see what would happen.” Pesonen also wrote numerous articles about Bodega and did most of the public relations work for the Association.

Jean Kortum did “behind-the-scenes” work, getting resolutions opposing Bodega passed in the local Democratic Clubs. “In those days politicians listened to the clubs. As we started getting positions from the politicians, the decision makers began to listen,” Jean Kortum remembered.

“Different people with different backgrounds were involved in the organization using the tools that they knew best,” Kortum continued. “Gifted people floated together and kept the campaign going. We didn’t pretend to have a broad-based organization. We weren’t a democracy.”

“We were not infected by any ideology about organizational theory, societal theory or economic theory, our one goal was to stop that plant,” Pesonen pointed out.

“Some people laughed at us and said we can’t win, “ Marion Raebel remembered. “We weren’t very popular. We felt we were right though, and stuck to the truth through the campaign.”

San Francisco’s downwind location from the power plant provided a good organizing focus. “We broke out and turned Bodega into a propaganda issue,” Karl Kortum explained. “You play the game their way when you only appear at the hearings.

We made the issue political. Television didn’t exist. We used the written word, and once something appeared in print, its accepted as truth. We made sure letters to the editor appeared in newspapers throughout northern California.” During speeches by candidates running for office, the Association members always asked questions about Bodega.

In anticipation of the Public Utilities Commission decision on issuing a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, the Association organized a town meeting to coincide with its release date. As predicted, the PUC issued PG&E a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to build the Bodega Bay Atomic Park, November 8, 1962. At the town meeting held two days later, representatives of the Association discussed the dangers of nuclear power and emphasized the lack of democracy in the licensing process. Pesonen scheduled people to speak on both sides of the issue, but at the last minute, the speaker form the Lawrence Livermore Lab, canceled his appearance under pressure from his co-workers.

People from throughout Sonoma County attended the Santa Rosa meeting. Dr. Richard Sill, a physics professor from the University of Nevada and a member of the Sierra Club, told the audience, “The public safety is being risked without an adequate opportunity being provided for the public to evaluate the risk for itself, and take a hand in the decision… no adequate authority exists at any level of government to weigh all aspects of the problems; economic, scientific, aesthetic, medical, national and local security, and civil aspects.

“All of these add up to a deliberate exploitation of the failure of the democratic process to cope with massive technical problems and possibly the use or implied used of financial or government influence to restrain free inquiries, scrutiny, and open debate on the reactor’s proposed location.”22

Sill explained the difficulty in convincing experts to refute testimony presented by the Atomic Energy Commission because most nuclear physicists worked for either the Atomic Energy Commission or the nuclear industry. “lf he rocks the boat too much, he may be pushed overboard,” Sill explained. Job pressures effectively prevented skeptical experts from speaking out.

Phil Berry, also from the Sierra Club added, “The whole issue boils down, I believe, to whether one is willing to trust his destiny to experts. Obviously we must always rely on the experts in one way or another. . . But this is an entirely different matter from relying on these same people to make policy. We don’t permit the teamsters union to decide whether the country needs railroads; nor should we permit nuclear engineers with a deep psychological commitment to nuclear generators to tell us whether, when, and where reactors should be build. Yet this is just what has happened at Bodega Bay. We have, in short, trusted the wrong experts.”

Alexander Grendon, the governor’s Coordinator of Atomic Energy Development and Radiation Protection sat in the audience and objected to what the speakers said. Stepping to the podium he told the audience, “The public will not be allowed to testify because it will not be able to demonstrate the expert competence that will be required.” Grenden’s frank admission that the public was not allowed to participate in the licensing process upset the audience and he later qualified the statement. “You will be heard, I simply can’t predict how much effect will have on the ultimate result. I think in i most cases it will have relatively little.”

At the end of the meeting, David Pesonen summed up, “The problem that has finally opened up at this meeting, I think, is one that has perplexed a great many astute observers of the modern political scene. It is the same problems that C.P. Snow looked at in two cultures and science and government. How do the people, to whom the government is, after all, answerable, gain access to the warren of the decision makers, when complex gadgetry is at the heart of the decision making process? There appear to be two different systems of decision making, not only in America, but probably in all of the industrial western nations. Each system is pretty well insulated from the other. The problem at Bodega Bay gets a little cluttered because corporate power is an old problem and the real issue at Bodega Bay is one of which we are only now beginning to realize the full significance.”

KPFA, a listener sponsored radio station in Berkeley, broadcast the meeting and distributed tapes of the program to its sister station in Los Angeles. Alexander Grendon‘s statement angered a number of people who then volunteered their services to the Association. Doris Sloan remembered, “I drove down to Berkeley at dawn and got David Pesonen out of bed and asked him what I should do.”

Sloan became the Sonoma County Coordinator and spoke at community meetings and spoke at community meetings and prepared information packets. “The petition was used as the main organizing tool,” Sloan explained. “It provided a way for people to show their opposition and helped expand our mailing list. People who wanted to do more were plugged into a task to fit their skills. People were encouraged to attend public meetings and to write letters to the editor. Association members organized demonstrations at PG&E’s corporate headquarters in San Francisco, and sponsored picnics at Bodega Bay.”

While opposition to Bodega gained public visibility, PG&E built up its own image. On February 28, 19fi3, PG&E’s president Norman Sutherland announced a $2.4 billion expansion program with more than half the proposed generating capacity supplied by nuclear power. Proposed sites included Moss Landing, two more units at Bodega, Montezuma, and the Nipomo Dunes in San Luis Obispo County. Sutherland confidently told the news conference that a nuclear plant could be build safely under Union Square in San Francisco. However, Sutherland conceded that if Bodega and Humboldt Bay failed to operate economically, the company was prepared to build oil and natural gas fired power plants. The San Francisco papers failed to mention Sutherland’s suggestion that nuclear power might not be economical.23

PG&E began taking the Association seriously and started to publicly refute their charges. Robert Gros, vice president of public relations wrote in an industrial journal, “This is the most difficult public relations problem PG&E has faced during my 27 years with the company.”24

Other tactics included the distribution of comic books featuring stories on the safety of nuclear power to the public schools.

One line read:

I’m a busy little atom!
I split myself in two.
I multiply as many times as
I have jobs to do.
In Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall
I’m ready every hour;
Just push a switch and watch me zip
With light or heat or power.

The Association continued its educational campaign and new people joined the organization. Lu Watters, the man who revitalized Dixieland Jazz in the l930’s and was considered one of the world’s greatest jazz trumpeters, came out of a ten year retirement to fight Bodega with his trumpet playing. “Getting Lu Watters to come out of retirement signaled that the plant was going to be stopped,” Jean Kortum remembered. “We couldn’t lose.”

Watters no longer had a trumpet. A friend gave him one, and he practiced on V the beach to “get his lip back.” Watters came up with the idea to release helium balloons from Bodega Head to illustrate where radiation might blow after an accident. After a festive Memorial Day picnic, Association members released 1000 balloons. Attached to each was a card reading, “This balloon could represent a radioactive molecule of Strontium 90 or Iodine 131. Please tell your local newspaper where you found this balloon.”

Later that year Watters organized a benefit concert at Earthquake McGoons, a nightclub in San Francisco. Even PG&E officials attended the fundraising event. Watters, together with Turk Murphy and his band, recorded the songs played that evening and made an album dedicated to the preservation of Bodega Head. The campaign took on a festive atmosphere as more people joined. Several people active in organizing wrote songs about the problem with the reactor, including Congressmen to be John Burton:

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea,
PG&E, PG&E, Oh, how shaky you’l1 be
As the San Andreas Fault starts to rock and role,
Heaven help our soul.
They’ll be earthquakes and fish bakes and radioactive air,
Iodine in the kids’ milk and trees will be bare.
Oh, that’s how it. will be at Bodega by the sea if we don’t
stop the PG&E.

Joel Hedgpeth and Malvina Reynolds recorded “Songs in Contempt of Progress” for radio station KPFA. A PG&E attorney threatened the station with libel suit if it aired the tape. The station, involved in litigation with the House on Un-American Activities chose not to air the tape. At a later date, however, the station manager allowed Hedgpeth and Reynolds to sing their songs live on the air. Malvina Reynolds sang:

We’ve got to take it over, PG&E
It’s come a dreadful pest,
It’s spreading atomic poison stuff over the Golden West
They’re starting a plant at Bodega, a place that was wild and pure,
The call it an atomic park, but it’s an atomic sewer.
Take it away, take it away
There’s a killer gang at the very top of PG&E today.
We need that electric power to make our country run,
But what’s the use of electricity when the people are all gone.

As the popularity of the Bodega Head cause increased, organizers worried about the direction the campaign took. Joel Hedgpeth wrote to David Pesonen about his concerns:

“Methinks the scare program about safety has gone a bit too far. I think the piece about the problems of monitoring milk in this areas was well done, but some of the other stuff — especially as old Max Kortum puts it — is a bit off the deep end. Lilienthal’s position is much better: we have not solved the economics, and the critical matter of disposal of wastes. We have apparently the rest of the century and perhaps part of the next to work on this problem, if estimates of fossil fuel supplies are correct.

“The atomic scare approach will lose the support of the type of person in the community we need the most, and there are enough valid reasons for opposing this Bodega project without using that belief.”25


PG&E hired several different consultants to evaluate seismic activity at Bodega Head and the ability of buildings to survive earthquakes. It eventually submitted these reports to the Public Utilities Commission, but withheld the unfavorable ones from the Atomic Energy Commission. Samuel Rogers, a graduate student in geology, and a volunteer for the Association, discovered the deletions when he compared the geology report submitted to the Public Utilities Commission with the one submitted to the Atomic Energy Commission. Rogers also discovered that testimony presented by PG&E at the PUC hearings was not supported by the evidence. Of course this information could not be utilized by the Association during the PUC hearings because PG&E had not submitted the evidence. It wasn’t until after the hearings closed that PG&E submitted its geology reports under the title “Exhibit 48.”

Rogers and David Pesonen prepared a petition for rehearing before the Public Utilities Commission based on the discrepancies and contradictions between PG&E’s reports and its testimony. Many of PG&E’s consultants did not agree with the findings of one another, and the Association wanted to bring all parties together to clarify the discrepancies.

PG&E called the Association’s petition a “63 page potpourri of spurious allegations and misinterpretations that does not really seek further review of the Bodega controversy but instead attempts to gain further postponement of a necessary generating plant which is already behind schedule.”26

Pesonen and Rogers pointed out in the petition, filed May 6, 1963, that the I reasons cited in the PUC’s interim decision on Certification of Public Convenience and Necessity were not consistent with the geologic evidence presented by PG&E. The Commissioners said that the reactor was more than vi mile from the edge of the San Andreas fault zone and that the site was “solid granite type rock providing an excellent foundation.”27 However, PG&E submitted evidence showing the plant was less than ¼ mile from the edge of the fault zone, the foundation was not solid granite, and faulting might occur under the site.

During the hearings PG&E engineer J. Dean Worthington testified, “The one thing that will not change is the fact that we are founding the reactor structure on solid rock and surrounding with heavy concrete instructions.”28

But the Company’s foundation consultant’s, Dames and Moore, found 65 feet of clay and sand at the location where the reactor building and the building housing the ’ turbine generator met. Worthington informed structural consultant Dr. George Housner about Dames and Moore’s findings by letter, “The quality of rock is inferior to our original assumption of ‘solid rock’,” but he did not tell the PUC this during his testimony.29

PG&E deleted the Dames and Moore study from its report to the Atomic Energy Commission. Hence the Atomic Energy Commission assumed bedrock existed at the site Dames and Moore discovered it contained saturated sand, silt, and decomposed wood.3O PG&E not only mislead the AEC on soil type under the reactor, it based the plants safety on the premise that it sat on solid rock. A rock foundation wasn’t supposed to shake during an earthquake.

Seismological consultants Toucher and Quaide warned PG&E that if test borings revealed that bedrock did not exist at the depth the reactor was to sit, (as the Dames and Moore studies showed) “serious consideration should be given to alternate sites.”31

Structural consultant Dr. Housner further warned, “I would say if there appeared even a small likelihood of (faulting) happening, then the site should not be used.”32

Seismologists Toucher and Quaide wrote, “complete absence of fracturing in the quartz—diorite cannot be predicted with certainty.” In their concluding remarks they further admitted, “lack of recent movements strongly implies, but does not guarantee, that there will be no movements throughout the life expectancy of the plant.”33

“Toucher and Quaide’s analysis of the site,” Pesonen argued, “could not assure against gross ground movement at the proposed reactor site. There is no evidence of large faults at the site — but there may be smaller faults; the likelihood of ground movement at the site is ‘probably quite small’ the evidence does not ‘guarantee’ the site; but there is ‘strong likelihood’ of active movement ‘near the site.’”34

Pesonen continued, “Toucher and Quaide’s report alone should have been enough to deter the applicant from proceeding at Bodega Bay. And the reasons to abandon the site increase with each succeeding report from Dames and Moore, completed while the proceedings were underway before the Public Utilities Commission, showed that nature had conspired to deprive applicant of the ‘bedrock’ he had been confident of finding at Campbell Cove. By this time however, it was too late; there was a fierce momentum accumulated behind the project; land had been purchased and costs were rising; consultants had been paid substantial fees for their services; extensive legal costs had been incurred; public attention to the project had been magnified by the heroic resistance put up by Mrs. Gaffney; the University of California’s activities at the site had drawn further attention; the project had been celebrated in trade journals as a ‘breakthrough’ in nuclear power; and the public relations effort which accompanied the project has been vigorously launched. . .”35

The applicant was thus confronted with two unsavory alternatives, Pesonen continued, “(l) to abandon the site and acknowledge a gross error in planning, or (2) to proceed on the expectation that the error would lie undiscovered.”36

Unmoved by the arguments of the Association, the PUC denied the petition for rehearing on July 9, 1963 arguing safety issues should be decided by the Atomic Energy Commission and that the Association had waited too long to file its petition anyway.

William Bennett, president of the Commission, issued the only vote in favor of rehearing. His dissenting opinion outlined a number of issues that had been ignored by the PUC. “The chance abilities or disabilities of the parties to these proceedings does not excuse the obligation of this Commission to insist upon a complete record,” Bennett wrote. “Nor can we throw our responsibility to the Atomic Energy Commission. These proceedings represent more than a game in which the cleaver side most conversant with procedure and method wins the prize.”37

Bennett cited several contradictions appearing in the record that needed clarification. For instance one report written by George Housner claimed, “It is quite impossible to design a power plant to survive [from] . . . earthquake fault slippage occurred on the site.” Yet in an earlier statement Housner stated the plant could be i built safely if PG&E followed proper seismic specifications. Bennett asked that the , scientist be subpoenaed to clarify his position.

Bennett pointed out that the longer Dames and Moore studied Bodega, the more doubts it developed about the areas seismic stability. In their final report they reported, “’We do not know of any sound method of interpretation on this case. Therefore we conclude that at this site the results of seismic studies should be disregarded.”’

“Only blind compulsion would insist upon placing this plant in the heart of one of nature’s choicest acres and in frightening proximity to an active earthquake line,” Bennett concluded. “Bodega Bay is being lost to future generations made with none of the checks and balances of government action.”38


Dr. Pierre Saint—Amand, a seismologist from the Naval Ordinance Testing Station at China Lake, followed the Bodega controversy and volunteered his services to the Association. Among other professional credentials, Saint-Amand was the first seismologist to write an eyewitness account of a major earthquake.39 After walking the Bodega site he concluded, “A worse foundation situation would be difficult to envision.”40 Dr. Saint-Amand’s conducted his field work April 6th and 7th, 1963. He explained why PG&E’s consultants could not find evidence of faulting near the site. “The relative f lack of fault scarps is deceptive. This is almost certainly because of the failure of the soft—soil overlying portions of the Head to reveal movement in bedrock, and because rapid erosion caused by heavy rainfall on the soft soil would quickly destroy any such scarps.”41

“For example, “Saint-Amand continued, “in 1906 the San Andreas fault moved about 16 feet in the vicinity of Bodega Bay. . . even this considerable movement was · not visible in the sand dunes nor across the Doran Sand Spit. . . the San Andreas fault and the majority of the fractures on Bodega Head undergo mostly horizontal movement, and this sort of displacement does not produce scaplets as conspicuous as an equal amount of vertical movement.”42

Saint-Amand explained that because the foundation material at the Bodega site was severely crushed rock, it could not be classified as good foundation material. Crushed rock transmits high-frequency vibrations during an earthquake.

“When a fault such as the San Andreas fault moves,” he explained, “it moves not on a single plane, but on many fractures. There is usually one plane of movement, but in many major earthquakes faulting has been found to have occurred over a large area. Some of the faults move during the main event while others move during the aftershock sequence . . . Pre-existing faults, often considered dead, joints, bedding planes and similar structures participate in the readjustments that occur during an earthquake.”43

Saint-Amand predicted that an 8.2-8.4 quake along the San Andreas fault would produce a maximum acceleration of .4 g for about one minute, with peaks in excess of 1 g and vigorous shaking continuing for 3 minutes.44 [Acceleration is a measure of the actual shaking that takes place in an area. It is affected by the force of the quake and the foundation material where a measurement is taken. A force of one g equals the force of gravity, and could throw an object into the air.]

“The most serious cause of concern at the reactor site,” Saint-Amand continued, “would be the possibility of movement on a fault passing either through the power plant area or across the cooling water system.”45 But an earthquake at a nuclear power plant site effected more than the immediate area. Those parts of the state unaffected by earthquake damage, but dependent on centralized electric power generation would also suffer. “The most serious loss is in communications — especially radio, television, and the press, which in turn leads to public panic and the spread of groundless rumors and exaggerations.”46

“It is surprising, in view of the expert advice given by Tocher and Quaide, and by Housner, that another site was not chosen, and that construction had gone ahead,” Saint-Amand concluded. “The erection of a device not in itself dangerous except to its occupants is not a cause for great public concern. The erection of a device that in itself is hazardous to others is a matter for public concern, and the builders have a grave moral responsibility to be certain that harm to others will not result from the failure of that device. The location of Bodega Head is hazardous from a geological and seismic point of view.”47

PG&E continued to insist upon the safety of their reactor design. F.W. Mautz, PG&E’s chief civil engineer, confidently told the audience attending a 1963 meeting of the Society of Civil Engineers that the plant was designed to withstand earthquakes fifty percent stronger than the one that hit Bodega Head in 1906.48

PG&E’s attitude prompted one Sonoma County resident to write in a letter to the editor, “There is something about the nature of a corporate decision that requires it to be seen through to the bitter end. . . PG&E’s selection of Bodega Head as a site of an atomic reactor plant is another classic example. I’m sure that more than one corporate officer by now regrets the choice of this particular site. But can he admit this to others? Or can they all admit to such an error in public? ‘Better to muddle through somehow, and hope that when it all collapses in rubble no one will remember my part in it.’”49

Nationwide interest focused on the controversy at Bodega Head. The Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy wanted to see the plant built. Nuclear power plant development was important for U.S. world image. To calm Congressional fears, the Atomic Energy Commission testified that the Bodega Bay Atomic Park symbolized “progress in the field of atomic energy.”

The Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor took their organizing effort to Washington, D.C. Harold Gilliam, an environmental writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and a director of the Association, took a leave of W absence from the Chronicle to work for the Department of Interior. While there, he persuaded Undersecretary of the Interior, Jim Carr, to take an interest in Bodega. Carr, in turn, persuaded Secretary of Interior, Stewart Udall, to become involved. President John F. Kennedy gave Udall permission to investigate the Bodega case and g to publicly oppose the plant.

Udall wrote to Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, Glenn Seaborg, (formerly Chancellor of the University of California) expressing his concerns about the effects of a plant accident on the fisheries and the seismic hazards poised by the San Andreas fault. “The hazards I am most concerned about are to the public health and safety, but one cannot completely overlook the Government’s further legal obligation to pay indemnification up to $509 million per accident for any casualty damage in excess of $60 mi1lion.”50

The Atomic Energy Commission requested the United States Geological Survey, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior, to evaluate the geology of Bodega Head. Jerry P. Eaton prepared the report and cautioned the AEC about inherent problems with seismic and engineering studies “to illustrate the tenuous nature of some of the scientific judgments that must be made . . . serving as the body of ‘fact’ on which the engineering design of the plant will be based. The primary difficulty is that the seismologist is called upon to make judgments that require extrapolation beyond his personal professional experiences and even beyond the science he serves. When such seismological judgments are short of qualifications and condensed to a convenient statement of engineering guidance, they take on an unwarranted ring of certainty that belies their shaky foundation. The thread of responsibility is broken at this step, the seismologist believing that he has handed the engineer, who reasonably feels that it remains with the seismologist.”51

The first United States Geological Survey site investigation conducted in May 1963, revealed no active faults on the plant site. However, the team was not convinced about the site’s safety. Dr. Eaton wrote, “I believe that absence of demonstrable recent faulting in those parts of the site and Bodega Head where field relationships are reasonably clear is not an adequate criterion for establishing the safety of the site. . . In the maze of old faults and fractures cutting the quartz diorite, minor recent offsets could be easily overlooked.52

“Because reliability limits on any estimate of seismic hazard to the proposed plant are so broad,” Eaton wrote, “the statement of tolerable risk must be very general; the magnitude of possible human damage that would result from the general destruction of the plant by an earthquake suggests that it should be built only if there is no reasonable doubt that it would survive any earthquake likely to occur on the nearby San Andreas fault. It appears to me that the site does not meet this test and that it is not an adequately safe location for a nuclear power plant.53

“Acceptance of Bodega Head as a safe reactor site will establish a precedent that will make it exceedingly difficult to reject any proposed future site on the grounds l of extreme earthquake risk,” Eaton concluded.54

Acting Secretary of Interior, John A. Carver, forwarded the report to Glenn y Seaborg with the note, “These findings do nothing to allay, but only reinforce, the grave concern expressed in my May 20 [1963] letter to you – regarding the seismic dangers of this proposed Bodega Head location for a major nuclear power p1ant.”55

In September 1963, the USGS discovered a fault running through the site itself. Eaton pointed out that movements on minor faults near major earthquake faults can occur during an earthquake.

PG&E’s vice president of engineering C.C. Whelchel dismissed the danger. “According to seismological and geological consultants retained by PG&E, the slippage i appears to have been slight and there is no evidence to date that any movement has occurred along this plane in tens of thousands of years.”56

PG&E continued to excavate the site in preparation for building the reactor. Not wanting people to worry about the fault, PG&E released four reports on January 28, 1964, describing the Head as a safe place to build a nuclear power plant. The reports rejected the findings of the USGS. Dr. Don Tocher, a seismologist for the University of California Berkeley, and Elemer C. Marliave, a Sacramento geologist, S stated firmly, “The site is suitable for the proposed plant.”57

PG&E also cited a study by Dr. William Quaide justifying the plant’s safety. Hours after the report’s release, Quaide told the San Francisco Chronicle that he had developed doubts about the project. “We have to be careful not to make a judgment which would endanger anyone’s life.”58

Although Dr. Quaide conducted one study with Dr. Tocher, his conclusion differed from his colleague. “There is a chance that the fault could break beneath the plant’s site in the case of an earthquake.” Quaide asserted.59 Drs. Tocher and Marliave replied, “Any possible movements that might occur would be of such minor amount as to be negligible.”60 Dr. Hugo Beinhoff, from the California Institute of Technology, concurred with Tocher and Mariave and maintained that structures can be built on earthquake faults “which will suffer no significant damage.”61

Quaide pointed out that an earthquake causing slippage on the rock beneath the plant could release radioactive fuel. “Those working at the plant would receive massive doses of radiation. How much effect there would be in the vicinity, I don’t know.” 62

“I still think the probability [of faulting breaking beneath the plant] is low,” Quaide concluded. “I think I would be willing to live near the plant with my family. But it is necessary to face the moral issue: ‘If there is even a slight chance of danger, should we go ahead and build the plant?’”63

The seismic information on Bodega Head continued to look worse for PG&E. Shortly after the discovery of faulting on the site, the research vessel Baird, from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, conducted seismic refractions off the coast. Preliminary results, made public in January 1964, indicated complex faulting structures and vertical displacement of 90 feet offshore from the plant site.

The Atomic Energy Commission delayed construction hearings on PG6cE’s application to build a plant. The Commission staff asked PG&E specific questions about the plant’s ability to withstand sheer displacement of 2 feet and 3 feet without undue hazard to the health and safety of the public.

PG&E responded that there was no evidence of faulting for the past several thousand years and that the plant was designed to withstand a quake of 8.2 on the Rector scale. The AEC’s basic question on what would happen should faulting occur remained unanswered. PG&E assumed the worst could not happen.64

On March 27th, 1964, a major earthquake struck Alaska damaging property in an area 200 miles wide and 1500 miles long. Property losses totaled $1 billion. The American public saw on television the damage that an earthquake could do. The AEC grew uneasy. For the first time PG&E acknowledged that slippage might occur under the reactor, but conveniently provided a design solution to take care of the problem. Since the reactor was to be built underground, PG&E proposed surrounding the reactor building by a layer of compressible material, “of a type to be selected,” and floating it on a layer of granular material, “such as sand.” In the unlikely event that movement of one foot occurred along the fault at the site, “no serious damage is expected,” and the unit “could be brought to a safe shut down.65

“With a two foot horizontal movement along this fault, the company’s analysis indicated that a part of the lower portion of the reactor containment structure may be crushed inwards up to twelve inches but the steel lining of the pressure suppression chamber, though distorted, would remain intact.”66

But critics wondered, “In the new amendment, the company has raised another issue of concern. In order to withstand violent shaking during an earthquake, the reactor structure was to be anchored in solid rock, according to PG&E plans. But to withstand shearing at the site, it must float. The two design concepts are difficult to l reconcile.”67

The Atomic Energy Commission could not understand how PG&E’s design could be done without undo hazard to the public. The staff developed more questions for PG&E and asked, “Specifically would the plant be designed so that:

  1. the structure and leak tightness of the containment building would not be impaired;
  2. the ability to shut down the reactor and maintain it in the shutdown condition; would not be impaired;
  3. primary systems would remain intact; and
  4. supply of power to the facility would not be interrupted?

PG&E allowed for only two feet of displacement in their design. But the USGS said the “nature, direction, and amount of displacement cannot be predicted . . . displacement on the order of a few feet, either horizontally or vertically, should be anticipated.”68

What would happen if the safety containment system didn’t work? PGécE predicted the in the worst possible accident, fifty percent of the core melted, but the radioactivity remained in the drywell. The Greater Saint Louis Citizens Committee for Nuclear

Information postulated the consequences if the 80 million curies of radioactivity escaped the drywell. This amount of radioactivity was only two-fifths the size of the AEC’s postulated accident in WASH 740.69

“In the town of Bodega Bay, some two miles from the reactor, nearly everyone would die within the first day. For those without shelter the external radiation exposures could raise to 3,120 rads the first day and 14,000 rads could be accumulated in the following ninety days. The AEC itself suggests that half of any population exposed to 350 to 500 rads will die within a week.” If the radiation plume drifted south to San Francisco, the internal lung dose would be 84 rads for the first day and 250 rads in the first week. Long term consequences included an increase in deaths from cancer and leukemia. Land around Bodega would lie fallow for ten years.70

Conditions continued to worsen for PG&E when Bodega became a major campaign issue in the fall of 1964. Democrats came out against the plant, and the Republicans tried to stay neutral. In October 1964, Karl Kortum carried news on the battle of Bodega to Washington, D.C. The purpose of his trip was to attend ceremonies celebrating the delivery of the hull of the Kaiulani, the last Yankee Square Rigger to sail around Cape Horn. During World War II the ship wound up in the possession of the Philippines. Kortum helped the Maritime Historical Society of the District of Columbia locate the · ship and persuaded the President of the Philippines to give the ship back to the United States.

After the ceremony, Kortum wanted to get word to President Lyndon Baines Johnson about the news at Bodega Bay, Kortum persuaded Alan Hutchison, the head of the Kaiulani committee, to arrange a brief meeting with Charles Horsky, special assistant to the President, to talk about Bodega Head. Kortum told his story and delivered a copy of David Pesonen’s publication, A Visit to an Atomic Park and The Battle of Bodega Head, a collection of newspaper clippings about Bodega, designed by Jean Kortum. By simply thumbing through the pages, one had the impression of building opposition to the plant, and that it was a major political issue.

Horsky, impressed with what he saw, asked Kortum to write a memo on all recent events pertaining to the reactor on the Head. That evening, Horsky delivered the information to Bill Moyer, one of Johnson’s principle political strategists. Moyer expressed gratitude to Kortum for bringing the matter to his attention. Twenty days later the Atomic Energy Commission issued two reports with different conclusions on the safety of the Bodega Reactor. One had been prepared by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards and the other was issued by the staff of the Division of Reactor Licensing.

On October 28, 1964, just days before the general election, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, (a body of scientists advising the AEC) said, “The power reactor facility, as proposed, may be constructed at this site with reasonable ‘ assurance that it may operate without undue hazard to the health and safety of the public.”

Herbert Kouts, winner of the 1963 Ernest O. Lawrence Award for Physics, headed the committee. The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards based their recommendation on the studies of Nathan Newmark, who disagreed with the findings of the USGS, and believed the offset on the site would not be greater than three feet. Newmark saw a reserve margin in almost every element. “It is my considered opinion,” Newmark wrote, “that the structure and its equipment can be designed essentially as proposed to resist the efforts of the maximum earthquake postulated.” Newmark endorsed the concept of floating the reactor on a comprisable material.

The Division of Nuclear Licensing, composed of AEC staff, arrived at a different conclusion. “Bodega Head is not a suitable location for the proposed nuclear power plant at the present state of our knowledge.” The safeguards of building a reactor on three feet of sand had not been tested. “We do not believe that a large nuclear power reactor should be subject of a pioneering construction effort based on uncertified engineering principles, however sound they may appear to be.”

Governor Pat Brown formally requested PG&E to abandon the project. Two days later, PG&E President Robert Gerdes conceded. “The doubt raised by the staff, although primarily a minority view, is sufficient to causse us to withdraw our application. We would be the last to desire to build a plant with any substantial doubt existing to public safety.”71

PG&E crews left Bodega Head. All that remained was a hole 40 feet deep and 140 feet wide. The University of California built their Marine Lab, and California made the area at state park.

Several years later, Leo Goodman of the United Auto Workers Union told the writer Sheldon Novick that President Johnson ordered the Bodega Bay Atomic Park cancelled as a result of a visit from an old sea captain from the West who had the Filipino voting constituency behind him. Goodman, of course, was referring to Karl Kortum. Whether or not this story is true, is speculation. Karl Kortum once wrote to David Pesonen, “I am shocked at the havoc my ego plays with the truth now and then, and I try to be on guard.”

Epilogue: The Hole in the Head

nid y bore mae cammol diwrnod teg.

Now Progress has been put to rout,
And leaves behind a gaping hole:
They claim that if there was a doubt
They’d always planned to save their soul
By giving up their deep redoubt
To leave the public safely whole;
They claim four million has been spent,
As if they thought we should repent
The hole is empty to the sky
Where atoms were to have been tamed,
And they who hoped for taxes cry
That we who fought should be ashamed,
But they forget the reason why:
It is the Fault that should be blamed, S
While their ignorant stupidity
Was compounded by cupidity.
The dust is settling on the head,
While mud is creeping down the bay;
Now that the atomic plans are dead _
The University holds sway,
To build a stately lab instead;
Forgetting now who in the battle kept heads down
Now act as if they won the town.
At last we leave Bodega’s shores,
And ponder lessons of this tale:
How politicians’ moral sores
Combined with consciences gone pale
Of scientists obsessed like bores
With putting atoms to travail,
Became a sort of senseless dance
Dedicated all to ignorance.

Jerome Tichenor’72


After PG&E abandoned Bodega Joel Hedgpeth wrote, “The battle of Bodega Bay has turned out to be a landmark in the endless struggle of citizens against the Establishment and against Progress, if you will. When it first began, few people were aware of the manner in which we were witlessly destroying our environment, and fewer people believed that anything could be done. Not only did they believe that one could not lick city hall, but also that a corporation like PG&E could not possibly make a stupid mistake. But ideas have proved false, and the public relations people of large corporations are a little less careless about calling their opposition lily pickers.”73

“Undoubtedly there was a preliminary conditioning of our county government by a great corporation, which has cultivated and, no doubt, honestly believes the image l that it can do no wrong, and whatever it does is for the best interest of the people,” Hedgpeth wrote in a letter to the local paper. “With this is the corollary notion that the company could not possibly make an error in judgement — a statement made many times by advocates of the project. But corporations are made of people, and all people make mistakes. I think that a better system of regulating and examining projects of this type at the outset would have prevented the mistake that has been made.”74

Harold Gilliam added, “There is no agency in the State of California to protect the people’s interest in maintaining open space. PG&E can condemn open space for power plants. . . It does not matter whether that land is a historic site, or irreplaceable scenery needed by future generations for recreation, or irreplaceable farm soil needed for protection of food.”75

Hedgpeth concluded with Faust, “Thinking it all over, its even more Faustian— or did you read the last act of Faust, Part II, where Faust, symbolically blinded, thinks the sound of digging and hammering is this great new reclamation project for the benefit of mankind, but it’s actually the sound of his grave being dug?”76

“I don’t suppose the whole thing can really be told,” Joel Hedgpeth wrote years later. “The whole business is the story of the human condition, how it changes under the stresses of time (Including my own) of realignments of the heart and similar matters.”77

Footnotes for Chapter 3

1. Personal interview with Dr. Cadet Hand.

2. Emery B. Dowell, quoted by Hal Strube in a letter to Josephine Alexander, May 10, 1962.

3. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to Norman Sutherland, May 26, 1958. Hedgpeth papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

4. Clark McHuran, Reconnaissance Engineering Geological Report Bodega Bay Power A Plant Sites California, Exhibit No. 48, California Public Utilities Commission, Application 7 No. 43808.

5. Shermer Sibley to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, November 13, 1958, Hedgpeth papers.

6. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to George Deusheck, September 15, 1958, Hedgpeth papers.

7. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to Leigh Shoemaker, September 18, 1958, Hedgpeth papers.

8. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to John D. Isaacs, November 13, 1958, Hedgpeth papers.

9. Cited by Joel Hedgpeth in “Bodega: A Case History of Intense Controversy,” Environmental Quality and Water Development, edited by Charles Goldman, James McEvoy, III, and Peter Richardson, San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1973, p. 447.

10. Letter from Ralph Emerson to Glenn Seaborg, November 29, 1960, Hedgpeth papers.

11. Joel Hedgpeth, “The University of California at Bodega,” undated, Hedgpeth papers.

12. ibid.

13. Sebastopol Times, May 2, 1960.

14. ibid. _

15. ibid.

16. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to California Public Utilities Commission, March 5, 1960, Hedgpeth papers.

17. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to Joe Neilands, May 11, 1962, Hedgpeth papers.

18. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to Public Utilities Commission Counsel William Bricca, July 8, 1962, Hedgpeth papers.

19. Joel Hedgpeth, “The University of California at Bodega: or how to be objective subjectively,” September 29, 1963, Hedgpeth papers. ‘

20. ibid.

21. Letter from David Pesonen to Joel Hedgpeth, November 25, 1962, Hedgpeth papers.

22. Richard Sill. The Talk was broadcast by radio station KPFA, FM 94, Berkeley,

California, November 16, 1962, on “Eleventh Hour,” Produced by Joan Mclntyre. The transcript is in the Hedgpeth papers.

23. Wallace Turner, New York Times February 28, 1963.

24. Robert Gros, “Big Hurdle for a A-Power — Gaining Public Acceptance,” Nucleonics Week, October 1963, pp. 17-24. A

25. Letter from Joel Hedgpeth to David Pesonen, October 3, 1963.

26. Pacific Gas and Electric Company News Bureau press release, June 6, 1963, Hedgpeth papers.

27. Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor, lnc., Memorandum gl Action Concerning Late Exhibit 48 g_nil_ Related Evidence, Before the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California, Application No. 43808, Interim Decision No. 645737, May 6, 1963, pp. 8-9.

28. ibid., p.26.

29. ibid., p. 25.

30. ibid., p. 39.

31. ibid., p.31.

32. ibid., p. 16. `

33. ibid., p. 17.

34. ibid., p. 18. .

35. ibid., pp. 34-35.

36. ibid., p. 36.

37. California Public Utilities Commission, Opinion No. 65701, dissenting opinion of William Bennett, July 9, 1963.

38. ibid. H ‘

39. Dr. Pierree Saint—Amand, lg Terremotos E Mayo ;Chile 1960, Technical Article No. 14, Naval Ordience Test Station, Michelson Laboratories, China Lake and Pasadena, California.

40. Dr. Pierre Saint-Amand, Geologic E Seismologic Study gBodega Head, published by the Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor, 1963, p. 19.

41. ibid., p. 12.

42. ibid.

43. ibid, pp. 17-18

44. ibid, p. 16

45. ibid., p. 17,

46. ibid., p. 19

48. Engineer Sites Safety of PG&E Atomic Plant,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, October 19, 1963

49. “Will PG&E Be Another Edse1?, San Francisco Chronicle. October 13,1963

50. Letter from Stewart Udall to Glenn Seaborg, May 20, 1963, Hedgpeth Papers

51. Geologic and Seismic Investigations of a Proposed Nuclear Power Plant Site on Bodega Head, Sonoma County, California, by Jules Schlocter, Manuel G. Bonnilla, and Alfred Clebsch Jr. Part II Seismic Hazards Evaluations, by Jerry Eaton, United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey Form 9-104, Tei—837, September 1963, p. 44.

52. ibid., p. 49 ,

53. . ibid., pp. 49-50

54. ibid.

55. Letter from John A. Carver to Glenn Seaborp, September 25, 19643, files of Harold Gilliam.

56. “Quake Danger at A-Plant Site,” San Francisco News Call Bulletin, October 4, 1963.

57. Michael Harris, “Bodega Dispute – Assurances and Then a Dissent”, San Franciaco Chronicle, January 28, 1964

58. ibid.

59. ibid.

60. inid.

61. ibid.

62. ibid.

63. ibid.

64. “Bodega, the Reactor, the Site, the Hazards,” Nuclear Information, April 5, 1964, p. 65. United States Atomic Energy Commission, Docket # 50-205, “Preliminary Hazards

Analysis,” Bodega Bay Atomic Park, Amendment #7, March 31, 1964.

66. ibid.

67. “Bodega, the Reactor, the Site, the Hazard,” pp. 9-10.

68. Letter from the Atomic Energy Commission to Pacific Gas and Electric, May 19,

1964, in Hedgpeth papers.

69. “Bodega, the Reactor, the Site, the Hazard,” pp. 9-10.


71. Robert C. Toth, “A—P1ant on Quake Site Splits Two AEC Groups,” Los Angeles

Times, October 28, 1964.

72. Jerome Tichenor, “Epilogue: The Hole in the Head,” Poems in Contempt of Progress, edited by Joel W. Hedgpeth, Pacific Grove, California: The Redwood Press, 1974.

73. Joel Hedgpeth, “Bodega: A Case History,” p. 454.

74. Harold Gilliam, “The Lessons of Bodega,” §_a_n Francisco Chronicle, November 22, –

76. Joel Hedgpeth, letter to David Pesonen, April 9, 1971.

77. Joel Hedgpeth, letter to David Pesonen, July 4, 1971, Hedgpeth papers.

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