Opposition to nukes in California grows

July 28, 2011

A new public opinion poll indicates that support for nuclear energy has dropped sharply in California. [SacBee]

The poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reveals that nuclear energy, which had been enjoying an upswing in public support, is now viewed with concern since last spring’s disaster in Japan.

Nearly two-thirds of Californians now oppose building more nuclear plants in the state—the lowest level of support ever found ini a PPIC poll. The findings are consistent with a similar PPIC conducted last month.

Californians  are evenly divided, however, on whether the state should allow more offshore oil production.

“With spikes in gas prices at home and nuclear power failures in Japan, Californians are strongly supportive of policies that encourage more fuel efficiency and renewable energy,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president.





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Current choices and their flaws as I see em. Pick the less evil of them and lets move on as a society until something better comes along.

* Oil / Coal / Gas: Too Dirty

* Hydro: Tapped out

* Nuclear: Too scary

* Wind / Solar: Doesn’t scale

* Cut back our demand and use what we have: Un-American

Agreed, but we can scale up wave/tidal action wind, solar. We would need lots of new grid though.. Big money. I just hate to see us stalling due to lack of funding. And being there is no recovery……….really.

It’ll take wallingi up a contaminated city to see any decent progress.

But then there’s the weaponry all countries lust after, nuclear. Security issues always dominate

30 new plants just approved during Obama. Not 30 new solars farms, wind farms, etc. 30 new death mills.

Current choices

* Oil / Coal / Gas: Dirty but can be cleaned up

* Hydro: Tapped out / We can do better than this

* Nuclear: Scary but can be done Safely

* Wind / Solar : Doesn’t scale : bird strikes / NIMBY’S

* Conserve / Build / Drill / Mine : American

We don’t hear about most of the problems with nuclear power plants.

How many people have heard about the Cooper NPP in Nebraska? and the Fort Calhoun NPP, which is 20 miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska? The one that is located on the Missouri River and has been flooded up past the flood stage, so that it is an island, and workers have to walk across on cat-walks.

Read all about Fort Calhoun: http://missouri-news.org/midwest-news/nebraska/oppd-duration-of-2011-flood-unprecedented-in-nuclear-industry/7068

Fort Calhoun has been shut down for three months, and it has been flooded up to doors entering the plant since about mid-June, then they put up a huge bigwater-filled rubber “berm.” The first one broke after being in place a few days. It took awhile for them to get another one in place. This second one has held so far.

Here’s the berm that is keeping the water back now at Fort Calhoun (URL, below). The Missouri River flooding is on the right. The plant is to the left. The “berm” is 8′ tall. It is sitting on the ground right outside the plant.


This is what the plant looked like on June 27. (URL, below) See the big round white cylindrical building? That’s the NUCLEAR REACTOR. See the building behind (to the left) of the reactor? THAT’S WHERE THEY KEEP THE SPENT NUCLEAR RODS, and the NEW RODS THEY WILL PUT IN WHEN THEY RESTART THE PLANT. This is the best part….Fort Calhoun also stores ALL of the nuclear waste for Nebraska there, as well.


Do you see how close the water is to the reactor and the spent nuclear rods? Quite a bit closer to the water than Fukushima’s spent nuclear rods were.

Here’s another really scary thing about the picture (URL, above): If you look at that picture, at the top, just to the left of the top-center of the image, you’ll see a small white building with a grey/tan roof. That is dry cask storage for spent nuclear rods which–in theory–are not at risk to flooding. The air-filled berm does not include that repository for stacks and stacks of rods.

This is what the plant looked like (URL, below) a few days before first water-filled rubber “berm” was put into place broke. Note: It really is not supposed to be an island.


The Missouri River was at the walls of the plant. There was no “incident,” however, because the plant had been taken offline because of the flooding and the rods were not engaged, but had been pulled up (this is how I understand how that type of NPP works).

It looks like the river has gone down some, but it will not be brought online until the Missouri is back in its banks again…which, they hope–but no one really knows–will be in October.

Even though the water did not reach the spent nuclear rods behind the reactor, there was flooding inside the plant buildings because, over the years, there were things–like electrical stuff–moved and they didn’t think about FIXING THE HOLES IN THE WALLS. So when the Missouri River water hit the outside walls, water just started spraying in.

I have not talked to one person in the SLO area who, before I mentioned it, had heard about Fort Calhoun.

The Cooper NPP in Nebraska has its own problems–not flooding, yet–but big, big problems, too.

On May 31, when NRC Chief Gregory Jaczko visited Fort Calhoun, he said:

“The meltdown of a 500-megawatt reactor located 30 miles from a city would cause the immediate death of an estimated 45,000 people, injure roughly another 70,000, and cause $17 billion in property damage.”

Fort Calhoun is a 500-MW reactor, and it’s located 20 miles from Omaha, Nebraska.

Wow, you’re right Mary, I had no idea. That just confirms my distrust for the NRC. We need to stop this foolishness, close them down. We don’t have control over this form of power.

Several errors in your info:

The Fort Calhoun reactor plan was shut in April before the flooding. It was undergoing refueling. The refueling operation was put on hold until the flood emergency is over.

The Fort Calhoun plant stores its own spent fuel rods but it does not store nuclear waste from the whole state. We know this because the Cooper nuclear plant also in Nebraska stores its own spent fuel rods.

The river never rose high enough at the Cooper plant to test the flood defenses. The plant continued to produce electricity the whole time.

Notice the corp. media pinched off all coverage of any afternmath from Japan. GE must not think it’s newsworthy.

Love the pic. That’s most likely a coal plant.

Most like a nuke plant but not our local Diablo Canyon Plant…

Why do you say that? There are certainly FAR more gas and coal fired units in the USA and a cooling tower such as this is used for industrial cooling without regard to the source of the heat. In short, you are wrong.

Because the article we are posting about is on “opposition to nukes in California grow” and those cooling towers are ones used that have been in nuclear plants in many locations nationwide, including Three Mile Island. And from the amount of trees in the photos it is clearly not Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant which was built along the coast on a bluff over the sea with almost no trees or large vegetation…

No where in my post did I say anything about coal or gas fired plants or the larger numbers of them in relation to nuclear plants.

Perhaps it’s the Trojan nuke plant in Oregon, as I recall, built by PGE. The plant is being shut down (decommissioned) due to problems. Perhaps the people there had more insight and concerns.


Not to sound contrite, but the fact is that even if everyone used all measures to conserve, there would still need to be more power generating capacity than exists TODAY, with nuclear plants still on the grid. Solar and wind are great, but it doesn’t scale up well to serve an entire community. And if the existing nuke plants are shut down, the power deficit is huge.

For all its faults, nuclear energy is a clean alternative to coal or gas fired generators for energy. And with the push toward plug-in electric vehicles, the increased demand for on-grid energy will go skyward.

Pulling out existing nuclear plants and substituting small-scale non-fissionable nuclear generating plants (also referred to as ‘backyard nuclear’) may be an option to consider. In the short term, the feds need to allow waste disposal in Yucca Mountain. Closing Yucca before it ever opened just means the existing plants have nowhere to put their waste – which was PROMISED by the NRC before the plants went online, and before the big $$$ were spent building nuke plants and applying for operating permits.

This is just an opinion poll aptly timed after the Fukishima tragedy, created and released with an agenda in hand. And for the record, we all live on a big nuclear fission reactor – called Earth. The core is a fission reactor.

Also not to sound like a finger pointer, but with over 37 million consumers and ever increasing demander’s of electrical power for all those luxuries, we need to build more power plants not less.

It is ironic that even clean renewable safe energy like wind, solar or hydro is not being utilized or built and that many of the loudest opponents are those crying out for more electric cars, iphones, ipads, computers, flat screen TVs, and the rest of the latest high tech electrically fueled luxuries.

And the timing of this article and the use of the Fukashima catastrophe as an example is most curious. We have a much larger land mass, far fewer major Equakes and the public lands to build new power plants on…

” Solar and wind are great, but it doesn’t scale up well to serve an entire community”

I believe that entire communities maybe with the exception of 10% or so can do well with Solar. Lately I’ve met several people that have homes that are solar. I saw a beautiful home last week that was 100% off the grid (even on cloudy days). This tells me that it can be done. In some cases it might not be feasible but there is a lot we could do to greatly reduce our footprint. I believe that if we subsidised companies and universities to come up with more ingenuity regarding alternative energy as opposed to subsiding oil companies then I’m sure that we could come up with even more tech that might help to do away with dirty energy.

” For all its faults, nuclear energy is a clean alternative to coal or gas fired generators for energy.”

The difference is that if a mine collapses then we loose at the most 30 people, the same goes for gas explosions. With nuke disasters we really don’t know what could happen. What we do know is that the land for miles and miles with be uninhabitable for hundreds (if not more) of years. We do know that there will be potential health problems for many years to come for countless people. The potential for total devastation is just too big with nuke energy.

” In the short term, the feds need to allow waste disposal in Yucca Mountain. Closing Yucca before it ever opened just means the existing plants have nowhere to put their waste – which was PROMISED by the NRC ”

First of all we should all know by now that the NRC aren’t to be trusted. Secondly, why is it that cons go on and on about states rights and no laws until it’s inconveniente for them? What happened to keeping the Feds out of things? Shouldn’t this be up to the state? The residents of Nev don’t want to be the countries dumping ground and who could blame them. And here lies the biggest issue IMO. What to do with the waste. Even if the residents of Nev. allowed their state to take this cr@p, what then. Just keep filling up Yucca Mt. with this stuff? What happens in 100 or 200 years with the stuff, what if the facility gets run down or not maintained correctly, what if some nut decides to go in and take some of it? No one can predict what might happen to Yucca Mt. in 200 years. There is no safe way to store the waste.

I wouldn’t call it an agenda, I would call it an awakening.

1) Solar does NOT scale well – it is too costly per kWh, requires large amounts of lead or lithium for power storage PER HOUSE for use at night, and is only viable with fed subsidies,

2) Coal is too dirty for use within cities (California won’t allow its use in power plants), and the mining operations cause tremendous environmental damage getting the coal out – ever been to a Kentucky coal mine?,

3) There are no new power plants being built in California, despite the overwhelming need to do so, due to red tape and decades of wait before an operating permit can be obtained,

3) Your ‘what-if, what-if’ on nuclear energy comment failed to take into account my assertion that ‘backyard nuclear’ should be examined, plus its just plain hand-wringing, irrational fear-mongering,

4) there are no Nevada ‘residents’ anywhere NEAR Yucca Mountain, which is why it was chosen as a disposal site. It wasn’t the people of Nevada that killed that project, it was the NRC, and the move was purely political,

5) Yucca Mountain was chosen because the salts in the mountain act to neutralize nuclear reactions. You may’ve read about those salts being sent from the USA to Japan to help control reactions at Fukishima,

6) Whether you like it (and you obviously don’t) or not, nuclear energy is here, in use, and needs to be dealt with RATIONALLY, not in the court of popularity contests, or with Chicken Little, Sky is Falling rhetoric.

We are a nation of builders, makers, inventors. This country relies heavily on cheap, always-on, always available power for its very existence. To think that we can just crawl back under a rock and pretend that this problem can be solved by ‘conservation’ is naive, foolish and dangerous.

At least I proposed a possible solution. Where’s yours?

1) I’d rather give subsidies to develop alternative energy than subsidies to oil companies. I’ll bet if alternative energy providers were given the tax breaks and the subsidies that oil companies were given that we’d have much more tech. and the cost to the public would also go down. Although they are still making record profits oil companies are also getting subsidies. I can’t give you an educated answer to lead etc. All I can say is that there are homes off the grid and they are safer than nuclear power. It is being done and if there is lead or lithium then it’s not going anywhere. They’re not taking this stuff to the landfills and both are recyclable.

2) Don’t need coal. But if the only choices were between coal and nukes it would be a tough call but I’d have to go with coal. But luckily that’s not a choice that we need to make.

3) Carizo Plains.

3b) Don’t know enough about backyard nuke but if it involves having to produce or store radioactive material then I’m not for it.

4) As I said, you people keep on about states rights and keeping the feds out and yet you don’t care what the residents actually want. 76% of Nev. residents want no part of nuke storage at Yucca. Shouldn’t they have a say in this? I didn’t say that they were the ones that stopped it but it is their state.


5), So what? You didn’t address my point about maintaining Yucca Mt.. Is there a guarantee that the place will be maintained in 200 years or that some nut won’t find a way to get some of it.

6) Sen. Blakeslee is also afraid of the sky falling at Diablo, he’s an expert in this field are you saying that you are more qualified than he is as to the safety of Diablo Cyn.? Tell the people of Japan that they’re not rational.

Conservation is only part of the solution, no one said that is the entire solution, perhaps you didn’t have time to read my post. I am the poster that always says that we need to move forward, you seem to be the one that wants to stay the same, status quo despite the dangers of nuke energy. Are the people that I know that are living off the grid living under rocks? My guess is that the home that I saw last week is approx. 4000 sq. feet, and it their home isn’t under a rock as a matter of fact is a high end home in a great neighborhood. They’re not worried about lead or lithium, they love the fact that they’re not paying PG&E and that they’re monthly payments on their solar panels are less than what their prior elect. bills were. Please tell me how they hurting and not better off? The cons absence of commonsense regarding alternative energy combined with ‘conservation is lacking and is in reality what is really naive, foolish and dangerous.

Again, not reading my post very well. I did propose a solution and I just did it again. Unlike you I’m not a engineer, I can’t break down the data like you can but with that much of what you say is just the same rhetoric from the right. I have read quite a bit about this, I didn’t just pull it out of the air. Much more can be done to wean us off of or to least cut back a great deal on dirty power.

Typed fast, excuse typos.

After Fukushima-D, those poll results are not too surprising.

Ahh ha, there is intelligent life out there! Is it possible that we could be progressing, moving slowly forward or is it going to end up the usual 1 step forward and 2 back? Just when I start to give up on Americans I start to see nuggets of intelligence. Is it just another tease or will we take that big step and move on to save alternative forms of energy? Could it be that those few intelligent Repubs (Sam Blakeslee) are coming out of the closet and finely speaking up to the a$$ backwards members of thier party? After hearing multiple personality McCain yesterday I’m starting think that perhaps there is hope. Time will tell, lets just hope that progress doesn’t move so slowly that it becomes to late. If we don’t stop destroying the earth with pollution and stop having so many babies soon then it will be too late.

What, in your mind should the population of mother earth be ? and what types of pollution can we expose mother earth too ?