PG&E plans to shut down Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors by 2025 and replace power with renewables, efficiency, and storage. Thanks to Friends of the Earth and others for helping to make California nuclear free. They developed a “Plan B” to show how it could be done.
The lethal radioactive nuclear fuel waste will continue to be generated until then, adding to the tons of unsafe waste already stored there in 1/2″ thin walled “Chernobyl” steel canisters that the NRC states can crack and leak from the corrosive salt air – California’s “gift” to future generations.
This is an historic agreement between Pacific Gas and Electric, Friends of the Earth, and other environmental and labor organizations to shut down the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors by 2024 and 2025 and replace them with greenhouse-gas-free renewable energy, efficiency and energy storage resources.
Friends of the Earth says the agreement provides a clear blueprint for fighting climate change by replacing nuclear and fossil fuel energy with safe, clean, cost-competitive renewable energy. Friends of the Earth Press Release, June 21, 2016
California also receives nuclear energy from three Palo Verde nuclear reactors in western Arizona. Palo Verde is about 45 miles due west of Phoenix, Arizona. Diablo Canyon and Palo Verde have two of the worst U.S. safety complaint records in the nation.
Joint Proposed Agreement with PG&E
Joint Proposal Agreement between PG&E, FOE, NRDC, Environmental California, IBEW Local 1245, Coalition of CA Utility Employees, A4NR to retire Diablo Canyon at expiration of current operating licenses and replace with green house gas (GHG) free resources, June 20 2016
FOE PLAN B An Economic and Technical Case for Replacing Diablo Canyon with Greenhouse Gas Free Renewable, Efficiency and Energy Storage Resources
Independent Analysis of Agreement
Joint Proposal Analysis for the Orderly Replacement of Diablo Canyon Power Plant with Energy Efficiency and Renewables, June 21, 2016
Joint letter with PG&E to State Lands Commission recommending new leases to 2024 and 2025 without a CEQA review
Friends of the Earth Contacts:
Damon Moglen, 202-352-4223, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Peek, 612-719-2906, email@example.com
State Lands Commission approves staff recommendation for new leases to 2014 and 2025 without a CEQA review.
Webcast of June 28, 2016 meeting, agenda Item 96: www.cal-span.org
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza
300 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Second Location for observation and testimony at Morrow Bay Community Center Auditorium, 1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay, CA 93442
My client, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (“A4NR”), supports the Joint Proposal and commends the other signatories for a truly historic achievement. A4NR declined, however, to endorse the joint letter to the State Lands Commission (“SLC”) and strongly disputes its legal analysis concerning CEQA and the Public Trust Doctrine. We urge the Commission to exercise its discretion to initiate a full EIR process and, using the information gathered, conduct an in depth Public Trust analysis that is consistent with San Francisco Baykeeper, Inc. v. California State Lands Commission (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 202.
Who has the power to shut Diablo Canyon?
Shutting down nuclear reactors must have the permission of California’s Governor and his reason must be based on other than radiation. That’s the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction. However, the NRC discounted their own Diablo Canyon Senior Inspector’s concerns about seismic issues. The NRC was also willing to allow a broken San Onofre reactor to restart.
One of Governor Brown’s concerns with shutting Diablo is green house gases. However, the plant is not needed for energy in California, so is it really worth it? The devil is always in the details.
The public has little say in the matter, so it’s an uphill battle to negotiate any kind of deal with PG&E and the Brown administration. The Governor also has former PG&E executives on his staff. Ultimately, it comes down to money. What will it cost to encourage PG&E to shut down Diablo Canyon?
At the State Lands Commission the Governor has only one of three votes. The three Commissioners are State Controller Betty Yee (Chair); Finance Director Michael Cohen, and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. Watch Newsom’s thoughts on this issue from a previous meeting. He see’s both sides. He’s also running for Governor.
Will Diablo Canyon last nine years?
Diablo is at high risk for earthquakes above its design basis. And seismic evaluations ignore material corrosion and cracking and other degradation that may exist at the aging facility. Not all critical structural parts of the facility are even accessible to inspect let alone feasible to repair or replace. And the thin-walled nuclear waste canisters may already be cracking, but no one knows, since they cannot be inspected.
Will California regulators and elected officials ever learn from past experience?
The California Energy Commission made a presentation in Southern California on June 22, 2016 regarding the increased probability of major earthquakes near California nuclear facilities, so California regulators are fully aware of this, but are just hoping for the best.
- They never anticipated the gas leaks at Porter Ranch, caused by Sempra mismanagement.
- They never anticipated or planned for both San Onofre reactors to be shutdown at the same time, caused by Southern California Edison mismanagement.
- They never anticipated the San Bruno deadly gas fires, caused by PG&E mismanagement.
- They are ignoring the risks of the California thin-walled nuclear waste canisters that may already be cracking. Instead, they are allowing more of these to be loaded at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon.
Japan’s regulators and the nuclear utility (TEPCO) at Fukushima Daiichi were also confident there would be no problems. The result is an ongoing triple nuclear reactor meltdown that the nuclear industry appears to not have a clue how to stop. Diablo Canyon and the other California nuclear facilities sit on the same earthquake “Ring of Fire” as Fukushima.
What will it take for our regulators and utilities to learn the lessons of Fukushima and the lessons from California’s mismanaged utilities?
Rachael Maddow presents compelling case why Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors should be shut down, exposing the economics and safety record, March 22, 2011.