Kool & the Gang\u2019s \u201cCelebration\u201d topped the music charts. Boom boxes weighed heavily. Women wore outsized shoulder pads. That was 1981. Anti-nuclear activists staged civil disobedience on the not-then-finished Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. This week, they are \u201ccelebrating\u201d with a reunion. Anti-nuke musicians, like Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, are holding their own concert reunion Aug. 7. Kool et al. aren\u2019t on this tour. Neither is LL Cool J. It\u2019s all graying musicians--even the Doobie Bros. While activists want to be dancing on Diablo\u2019s grave, \u201ccelebration\u201d is in quotes. Although 2,000 people were arrested attempting to stop the power plant three decades ago, its units still went online in 1985-86. Diablo\u2019s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, topped the investment charts with the $5.5 billion in building costs for Diablo Canyon. Utility shareholders received $28 billion in profits off the plant by 2000. The 30th anniversary\u2019s timing folds in several current nuclear policy actions, as well as the Japanese nuclear meltdowns: Federal--PG&E has a pending application to extend Diablo\u2019s life for 20 years with federal regulators. The utility already is reaping income from investments in new steam generators. More is expected from investing in other improvements like rotors and reactor caps. Investments like that may garner shareholders up to an 11.35 percent rate of return. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is on its way to approving Diablo\u2019s relicensing. The Japan meltdowns did not slow that process nor change NRC policy, according to staff. Diablo does seem to be a bit of a special case for regulators, due to its proximity to earthquake faults. The NRC, if it chooses, oversees health and safety for potential seismic events--but economic stability is left to state governments. California--Anti-nuclear activists are rejuvenated because of the reactor meltdowns, and consequent contamination, of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. They want to shut down California\u2019s reactors to prevent the same destructive radioactive releases here. Pending also is a state ballot initiative that shuts down nuclear plants if passed. But, that\u2019s got two strikes against it before it enters signature gathering. The official state language introducing the measure indicates, if passed, it would cost Californians $4 billion. Activists say that\u2019s absurd--it saves money by blunting health risks--but that\u2019s not what\u2019s on the ballot language. State policy makers are apparently listening to the new attitudes on nuclear plants. In a hearing last week, California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission members appeared critical of the nuclear industry. The Energy Commission is preparing its biannual Integrated Energy Policy Report--the blueprint the administration and lawmakers are supposed to use when creating energy policy. The section on nuclear power promises to be more incisive than usual. While that buoys activists, the Legislature and governor may do what they usually do with the report--ignore it. Other reports, like the CPUC\u2019s $16.75 million 2-D and 3-D seismic studies underway for Diablo Canyon can also be ignored. Because of the federal-state dichotomy in authority, there is no guarantee that data indicating increased earthquake potential will spur action at the federal level. So, activists are pinning their reunion hopes on the more progressive state level. The feds might \u201cown\u201d the health and safety issues, but the CPUC \u201cowns\u201d the money. The CPUC may cut off more investments in nuclear plants. The state commission can find that it\u2019s too much of an economic risk to keep Diablo and the other nuclear plant--San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station--running. On the health and safety side, the commission would be heroes to many. But it\u2019s an economic and potential electricity reliability risk. Ratepayers would likely have to pay off the $1.5 billion in investments recently made by PG&E and Southern California Edison to keep their plants running. If shut down, it would be a boon to the renewables industry and probably a transmission building frenzy--but that comes at a reliability cost. In the short term, nuclear shutdown would drop power availability by about 4,000 MW. If consumers are willing to make a few personal sacrifices, that\u2019s probably not that big a dent. Alas, Californian\u2019s aren\u2019t known for their embrace of personal sacrifice. Neither are utilities. They\u2019re likely to cry \u201cruin-on\u201d instead of reunion, and demand bailouts. The Japanese meltdowns and the so-far unknown extent of radioactive damage to the population and land reveal that it\u2019s worth the expense and a few personal sacrifices to err on the safe side. Despite what goes on at the federal level, state policy makers have an opportunity to make even more energy news. The rest of the nation already thinks we go too far--so we might as well go farther--protecting health and safety and investing in new technology. There\u2019s a place for nostalgia. Some gray-haired rockers still rock. Most though--like dangerous, expensive, fission technology--are burned out and should\u2019ve been taken off the circuit long ago.