California Nuclear Initiative

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Nuclear Initiative to Shutdown California Nuclear Plants

1520. (11-0042)  Nuclear Power. Initiative Statute. Summary Date: 11/18/11
Circulation Deadline: 04/16/12 | Signatures Required: 504,760
Proponent: Ben Davis Jr. (916) 833-7894

Extends statutory preconditions, currently applicable to new operation of any nuclear powerplant, to existing Diablo Canyon and San Onofre operations. Before further electricity production at these plants, requires California Energy Commission to find federal government has approved technology for permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste. For nuclear powerplants requiring reprocessing of fuel rods, requires Commission to find federal government has approved technology for nuclear fuel rod reprocessing plants. Both findings are subject to Legislature’s rejection. Further requires Commission to find on case-by-case basis facilities will be available with adequate capacity to reprocess or store powerplant’s fuel rods.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:

Likely major impacts on state and local finances in the near term in the form of decreased revenues and increased costs, potentially in the billions of dollars annually, due to near-term disruptions in the state’s electricity system and ongoing electricity price increases. The magnitude of these impacts would depend on the frequency and duration of rolling blackouts. Potential major state costs to compensate utilities for investment losses resulting from the mandated shutdown of their nuclear power plants. Potential avoidance of significant future state and local government costs and lost revenues in the rare event of a major nuclear plant incident.

(11-0042) (Full Text)

Rebuttal to Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance analysis:

The fiscal analysis is a nuclear industry dream come true. The analysis suggests that, if the nuclear power plants are closed by an initiative it will cause rolling blackouts. However, the analysis suggests that if the power plants are closed because of a nuclear accident, it will not cause rolling blackouts. The nuclear industry itself would never think it could get away with such nonsense. To have the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office sign such a statement… the analysis should have been gift wrapped and place under the nuclear industry’s Christmas tree. Luckily, the average voter in California is educated enough to see through such a smoke screen. It simply and graphically demonstrates that the energy industry and our state and federal governments are too closely allied.

When we closed the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant, they said there would be rolling blackouts. They said there would be rolling blackouts for years to come in Japan. There were supposed to be rolling blackouts in California during the energy crises in 2000. These blackouts didn’t occur and they won’t when we close California’s nuclear power plants. The facts of the matter show that the fiscal analysis that claims we will have blackouts if the initiative passes but not if we have a nuclear accident is exactly and obviously the opposite of the truth.

The state has an entire year to prepare for this initiative. A nuclear accident doesn’t announce itself so you can prepare a year ahead.

Ben Davis Jr. Initiative Proponent.

About Donna Gilmore

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