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Posted on October 23, 2015

Diablo Canyon Power Plant Weatherman Has a Passion for Clean Energy

In recognition of Nuclear Science Week, PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant spotlights John Lindsey, how he gives back to the community, and teaches about nuclear energy.

Since 1991, marine meteorologist John Lindsey has maintained, calibrated, and downloaded data from Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s numerous oceanographic instruments. These include a waverider buoy, a large yellow sphere that measures and transmits ocean wave information, various seawater temperature recorders located along the plant’s pristine coastline, and ocean current meters.

From his office at PG&E’s Energy Education Center overlooking Avila Valley, Lindsey also collects atmospheric and oceanographic data from other sources, like the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Measuring and plotting pressure differentials, wind speeds and wave heights from all these sources, Lindsey is able to provide an accurate swell and weather forecast to assist plant operators and thousands of Central Coast residents who receive his daily reports.

PG&E marine meteorologist John Lindsey with his children, Chloe and Sean.

Before coming to work at Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Lindsey served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years where he tracked oceanographic and atmospheric conditions affecting fleet operations. Over his years of monitoring and reporting, he’s seen record low amounts of ice in the Arctic Ocean, temperature records that fall like bowling pins, prolonged droughts, an increasing number of wildfires, and epic storms and floods. These are the kind of extreme weather changes resulting from the warming of our planet at an unprecedented rate.

“Historically, temperature changes of this magnitude have occurred over thousands of years, not over a few decades. That’s why we desperately need energy sources that produce electricity free of greenhouse gases. Nuclear power provides more clean electricity than any other source, and is playing an important role in helping our state and nation combat climate change,” said Lindsey.

Earlier this week, Lindsey took his message to local students as part of Nuclear Science Week which runs Oct. 19-23. The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History developed Nuclear Science Week in 2009 to raise public awareness about nuclear science and to celebrate its achievements.

In his presentation to Branch Elementary School students in San Luis Obispo County, Lindsey discussed how nuclear energy works, its role in providing PG&E’s customers with clean, safe and reliable electricity, and how it is helping the state reduce greenhouse gases. Lindsey also took time to highlight the many interesting career paths in the nuclear energy industry, encouraging students to apply themselves in their studies.

“What’s so interesting about nuclear energy is the many types of jobs that are available in the industry. This includes plant operators, engineers, scientists, administrators and technicians. And that’s just to name a few. It’s a fascinating field that has a real and positive impact on our daily lives,” he said,

During the year, Lindsey regularly conducts public tours, and gives presentations about the environmental benefits of Diablo Canyon to various schools, service clubs and other community organizations.

“Out of all the groups that I interact with, students are my favorite. They have such a strong sense of curiosity about the world around them and have a real desire to learn,” Lindsey said.

Outside of PG&E, Lindsey is an active community contributor, volunteering his time and energy to numerous causes, including the Central Coast Aquarium and youth sports. He lives with his wife and two children in Los Osos. He also serves as the President of the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers.

Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.

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