Is Gavin Newsom trying to close Diablo Canyon?

January 4, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power PlantCalifornia’s second-in-command and a leading candidate in the 2018 governor’s race, Gavin Newsom, is predicting Diablo Canyon power plant will close by the time its current licenses expire in 2024 and 2025. Newsom is also using his position as chair of state commission to subject the nuclear plant to environmental review that PG&E officials did not expect to occur. [SF Chronicle]

PG&E leases states tidelands in order to operate the plant’s cooling system, which sucks in water from the ocean and then returns it. The tidelands leases expire in 2018 and 2019, and PG&E is currently requesting the State Lands Commission approve extensions of the leases.

Newsom, who is the chairman of the State Lands Commission, is calling for there to be a full environmental review before the the commission decides on the lease extensions. The commission may vote in February on whether a new tidelands lease requires an environmental impact report (EIR).

Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom

If the commission does require an EIR, the process could take more than a year and it may reignite debate over the safety of the power plant.

“I don’t think that PG&E, in its quiet moments, would disagree that this may not have been the ideal site for a plant,” Newsom said at the Dec. 18 State Lands Commission meeting.

PG&E spokesman Tom Cuddy said an environmental review is not needed because PG&E is proposing no operational or design changes to its cooling system.

Newsom, who often voices support for green causes, has not ruled out approving the lease extensions. He urged the State Lands Commission to consider how Diablo Canyon fits into California’s attempts to halt global warming.

Unlike conventional power plants, Diablo Canyon does not pump any greenhouse gases into the sky.

Still, Newsom says he does believe the plant will stay open another 10 years.

“I just don’t see that this plant is going to survive beyond 2024, 2025,” Newsom said. “I just don’t see that. Now, I absolutely may be wrong, but that’s my punditry. And there is a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t.”


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CentralcoastRN

One cannot ignore the devastating economic effects the closing of Diablo would have on not just PG & E employees, but the ripple effect. Retail, restaurants, etc would feel the effects. School employees, businesses.


I can tell from the tone of the environmentalists that they are not in happy listening moods, but too bad. Abraham Maslow was a psychologist made famous for his pyramid, the hierarchy of needs. People have different, yet predictable levels of needs. They range from primitive needs for air, water, then to safety, food, shelter, eventually moving up to trust, friendships, then up to career, etc. Toward the top is “self actualization”. This is where Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and those who feel they are enlightened fit.


Environmentalists think they are up top. They are not. They are really down toward the safety block of the pyramid. Enlightened people are not snide and rude. They try to raise others up to their level of wisdom with all of their facts and data.


The plant is not causing cancer in kids. There is no data to draw those conclusions. This was some weird study done by a doctor for a biased group where he studied baby teeth to see if they had radiation over time. Hope these people never travelled, because the control is that the children and their teeth stay forever in their “zone” so the radiation exposure stays constant! That’s just one flaw with one study.


I am all for exploring alternative sources for energy. I am opposed to strong arm bully tactics to come in and de-stabilize our community without another solid plan in place. Solid means BUILT and READY. Not “like maybe”.


BeenThereDoneThat

Well stated.


kettle

CentralcoastRN says:”one cannot ignore the devastating economic effects………….”


A perfect Pg&E Pitch Tom Jones would be proud.


Diablo Canyon is not cost effective anymore, also was never too cheap to meter.


CentralcoastRN

I have nothing to gain. Thankfully for me, there are PLENTY of people who think Cheetos and twinkles are food groups. I have plenty of job security.


Let’s pretend you are right. Let’s pretend Diablo is Chernobyl Jr. It is not cost effective, it is Adam Hill’s bat cave. It is where pedophiles take children. It is evil. So now what? Play the scenario out for me. I need to SEE it in my mind. Do we tear it down? Do we now light our home with candles? Do we now have 90% of our residents living in tents and vans, because the economy will not support itself anymore? I mean, the salaries at PG & E range from like 50k ish to 200k+ for the more advanced technical people. Can’t really pay that $3800 mortgage with a job as a Walmart greeter and a paper route. So now we have a REAL problem. Boarded up homes. No taxpayers to protect the snowy plover and stop fracking.


Help me see your vision of what life is like post Diablo. Enlighten me.


kayaknut

Yeah, but hey building Diablo with all it’s tax dollars allowed local government and schools to grow exponentially with all their newfound money. Administrations swelled, salaries had no limits, there was always Diablo’s dollars around, the big shots just need to keep it going until they get theirs and retire and that plan is almost done.


Kaiser Bill

So prepare for the plant closing. Convert some of the local reservoirs to hydroelectric power plants.


TaxMeAgain

Kaiser Bill, our local reservoirs cannot be converted into hydro power plants for a number of reasons: physics, climate, and politics.


Kaiser Bill

Climate?


There are hydro plants in the desert.


BeenThereDoneThat

Yea you would only have to build intakes and have a LARGE room for the hydro turbines

Heck most likely only have to tear down the dam and start over but no big deal.


Kaiser Bill

Considering that PG&E wasted BILLIONS on a plant that was built backwards because they read the Diablo blueprints wrong, I don’t think some upgrades on local dams would be comparatively expensive.


BeenThereDoneThat

Yes blueprint mix up didn’t help but lets not forget Mothers for Peace and all the others that delayed it for YEARS with protesting. I can’t remember how many times I saw Jackson Brown and Robert Blake up here protesting this.


Kaiser Bill

Revisionist history. Jackson Browne (My ex-boss arrested him at Diablo) and the Abalone Alliance did not hold up the Plant opening.


What delayed the plant opening for over a decade was the collosal FUBAR of reading the blueprints wrong, which made the Plant have to reverse engineer and retrorift everything all over again.


mazin

1) We got away with running a nuclear power plant next to the ocean in an earthquake prone area.

2) PG & E got it’s money out of the investment.

3) The plant is being operated way past the original expiration date.


WE SHOULD NOT PUSH OUR LUCK FURTHER.


laowai

There are already alternative energy sources generating more power in California than Diablo Canyon in addition providing more Jobs, whats your point?


Solar and Wind generated in California during 2014 produced more energy than Diablo Canyon:


23,554 Gwh Solar and Wind ( Solar 10,557Gwh Wind 12,997Gwh)

17,072 Gwh Diablo Canyon


Note, the solar total does NOT include rooftop capacity!

This data reflects real time generated power NOT capacity!


http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html


Here are the economical figures Solar VS nuclear, you tell me what is better for us, especially considering the highly toxic waste that is stored behind the plant in addition to technical flaws of this thing designed in the 60s that is about as safe as my Buick from the same period.


1200 People work at Diablo Canyon, here Jobs in the Solar Industry:


There are currently more than 2,262 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in California, employing 54,700 people.


In 2014, $11.773 billion was invested on solar installations in California. This represents a 66% increase over the previous year.


Ironic you are using the word biased in your post.


CentralcoastRN

Well, the nuclear plant isn’t working to capacity either.


The solar and wind is limited by nature. Such is life. It produces what it can produce. The data can only report data and not imagined potential!!


If you just report what IS, we are all smart enough to follow along.


SLO county is FILLED with VERY educated individuals. Trust me. Song writers, philosophers, rocket scientists, engineers. Literally everything and everyone.


Of course our environment is a concern. Study after study and watchdog group after watchdog group has been all over Diablo. OSHA, etc. PG&E does safety drills on a regular basis.


It is difficult to have a serious debate on this issue when the response from some environmentalists is something like, “oh, you must be friends with PG & E”. People do not have to be pro Diablo Canyon or pro PG & E corporation to have reasoned, rational thinking.


If this is an issue you are truly passionate about, you cannot just scream like a banshee. You cannot just say you want to tear down Diablo without something economically sound IN THIS COMMUNITY to replace it. This community is already harsh to live in as it is for most of us. I have said time and again, many of us are living here “for the lifestyle”, and for a lot of us, it is at a pay cut of about 30k or more a year compared to other areas of the State. I know environmentalists like you don’t concern yourself with inconsequential things like money, but it matters. Someone has to pay the bills. So if you want to make a real difference, find a solution that make sense economically and ecologically.


laowai

CentralcoastRN,


thanks for your detailed reply.


I need to point out that i am NOT the typical environmentalist.


In fact i work in the automotive industry and that’s why i am very familiar with technical processes, things like: Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA).


Working in that field closely with engineers, manufacturing and service staff for more than two decades i learned how often things can go wrong no matter how well prepared the design or process was.


Thats why i am concerned about that power plant that was designed in the 60s and build on a cliff next to a bunch of fault lines, it is a ticking time bomb, things can and will go wrong all it takes is time.

Any technically educated person claiming the opposite is a hypocrite.


Yes i know the plant has an important economical impact on the area and i agree as long everything goes right live is good.

But imagine one day something goes south, human error, technical glitch whatever, it will bankrupt the whole area for 150years to come.


Just to point out again, there are not enough funds to cover people that are forced to abandon their homes.


Thats what it is, it is insane to keep this thing online for jobs and for this delusive green energy, please dont forget that we are storing nuclear waste behind the plant since the day it opened.


SLO_Johnny

Even some of the founders of the Sierra Club supports nuclear power. Global climate change can be controlled and reversed but it will require a dramatic cut is fossil fuel consumption. That means electric cars, trains, and buses as well as electric hot water and heating. It means that we need to generate a tremendously larger amount of electricity while at the same time eliminating coal and cutting natural gas and oil consumption.


To reverse global climate change and restore the Earth’s stable climate patterns will require a complete reorganization of our economy. Recycling some cans, and bottles, and paper and sticking up solar panels, riding your bike and taking cold showers and growing your own food won’t even come close to achieving the reduction. There are about 100 operational nuclear plants in the US and many will be closing in the next 10-15 years. We need to build at least 200 plants of equal capacity to replace them and to generate enough electricity to eliminate coal which is being used currently. It’s a gargantuan task and time is running out. The oceans are rising, drought are becoming more severe and persistent, severe weather is becoming more frequent, the oceans are warming.


kettle

“We need to build at least 200 plants of equal capacity”


Never going to happen.


TaxMeAgain

Just burn more coal.


laowai

Taking cold showers?


In California?


This argument alone proves that you are not credible and most likely a PG&E check receiver.


I lived in northern European climate for a huge portion of my live and we were able to produce enough hot water with a cheap and simple thermal solar unit, funny this abviously never entered your mind.


So you prefer to heat your water with fission energy, right?


The same logic applies to generating electrical power, California has so much sunshine that using a outdated nuclear powerplant seems ……. like a joke.


Fact, we already produced more solar and wind in 2014 than Diablo Canyon.


23,554 Gwh Solar and Wind ( Solar 10,557Gwh Wind 12,997Gwh)

17,072 Gwh Diablo Canyon


The solar total does NOT include residential rooftop capacity.


http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html


SLO_Johnny

Sorry, but I don’t work for PG&E, any of it’s contractors and subcontractors, no one in my family is so employed, and I have never worked for any utility company.

I believe that global warming is a true threat. The rest of the developing world will increase their energy consumption as we advance through the 21st century. We will have to dramatically reduce our CO2 output; not just marginally reduce it. Coal and nuclear currently provide more than half the electricity in the US. We cannot eliminate both and then replace that power with solar/wind and at the same time meet the the growing demand for energy in our economy while dramatically reducing our carbon footprint.

Nuclear power is the only technology that can supply that much power and maintain a stable power distribution grid.


laowai

Again, we already replaced one nuclear power plant with solar and wind energy, in less than FIVE YEARS.


We will do it with Diablo canyon in less than three if we want to and create a ton of Jobs in the process.


Considering that I really don’t get your point here.


Could you please enlighten me and please tell me why nuclear power should be preferred over solar?


Pelican1

What is the one single denominator in EVERY controversial issue in SLO county?

You got it….ADAM.


Tracy

This is completely despicable and so is trying to cover it up, Adam Hill and James Wagstaffe. Your mothers would be ashamed of you. Charles Tenborg and ECO Solutions Caught Dumping PG&E’s Hazardous Waste at Cold Canyon Landfill.

https://youtu.be/5bw583LsOqU


BeenThereDoneThat

O.k. let’s look at this from a lawyer standpoint of trying to convict. First off a barrel with the letter P scratched into it? I could do that and that doesn’t prove it wasn’t Paul’s dirt for all that matters.


Dirt that is being dumped? Well I see the dirt on ground but can you prove it is from those barrels? Did you see anyone dump it from those? Also on those barrels has anyone seen someone dumping any or is it just sitting there?


If nothing dumped yet, they (landfill) could be holding for transport later. That looks to be an area where they take in stuff like paints and other hazardous household waste (and hold) for later disposal.


Point on all of this is it may be true but from what I see here no proof that will hold up in court.


Jim Anderson

My money says that this case will not make it to trial. Too much evidence and too many witnesses. Mark my words. Plain and simple.


BeenThereDoneThat

Well I’m going off of video, so is there more witnesses? Also more evidence than this? Just commenting on what I see here.


laowai

Since you are a lawyer you could tell us what would happened if there is an incident at Diablo Canyon and the area would have to been evacuated, how would the average homeowner be reimbursed for his financial losses?


Especially since there is no insurance package available covering this kind of event.


BeenThereDoneThat

Well first off you are dragging this (incident) to a different topic. I was commenting on the drums. Second I’m not a lawyer, I said lets look at it from a lawyer standpoint. If you have followed enough issues involving courtroom issues from murder on down over the years, one would know basically how a lawyer would go after the easy stuff. This here is easy. So you can only imagine what else he would come at you with to pic this video apart. That was my point, that I guess you missed.


laowai

Add this to the fact that no homeowners insurance will cover your financial losses if our area would have to be evacuated:


“For 18 months, operators at the

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant near San Luis Obispo didn’t realize that a

system to pump water into one of their reactors during an emergency

wasn’t working.

It had been accidentally disabled by the plant’s own engineers…

The problem…involved a series of valves that allow water to pour

into one of the plant’s two reactors during emergencies, keeping the

reactor from overheating…

Engineers at Diablo Canyon inadvertently created the problem while trying to solve another issue, according to the report.

A pair of remotely operated valves in the emergency cooling system

was taking too long to move from completely closed to completely open.

So engineers shortened the distance between those two positions,

according to the report.

Unfortunately, two other pairs of valves were interlocked with the

first. They couldn’t open at all until the first pair opened all the

way. No one noticed until the valves refused to open during a test in

October 2009, 18 months after the engineers made the changes.”


laowai

Add this to the fact that Diablo Canyon sits around many fault-lines and combine it to the fact that your homeowner insurance is not going to cover an “nuclear incident”:


Diablo Canyon Unit 1 is on the NRC’s short list of the worst

embrittled pressurized water reactors in the U.S. along with 4 others –

including New York’s Indian Point.


“Embrittlement” happens over time as the steel in the reactor

pressure vessel becomes weakened by intense long-term neutron

bombardment from the radioactive fuel inside. As pressurized water

reactors (PWRs) age they become increasingly vulnerable to ‘pressurized

thermal shock risks.’ Rapid severe cooling plus sudden

re-pressurization could shatter the weakened reactor vessel like a glass

and cause through-wall cracks that would allow intense radioactivity to

escape.”


Then there’s the sobering fact that the plant is operated by Pacific Gas

& Electric (PG&E), a company under multiple federal indictments

for safety violations in the recent fatal explosion of its San Bruno,

CA gas pipeline, and embroiled in an evolving scandal about illegal

back-channel communications with the state’s Public Utilities Commission

(CPUC).


TaxMeAgain

Nuclear power plants have their own insurance policies to cover homes. THEY pay for it. Please discontinue spreading fear –


laowai

“If you live within the fallout area of a nuclear power plant and can no longer return home, you’ll have to get in line with everyone else for a government payout, which may or may not cover your needs. ”


http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/25/news/economy/nuclear_accident_costs/


Under current law, the utilities that operate nuclear power plants are responsible for a fund that pays the first $12.6 billion in damages and lawsuits resulting from any incident.


“This thing is obviously not going to cover the costs of any major accident,” said a spokesman for Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Ed Markey, who has long served on the House committee overseeing nuclear power, referring to the $12.6 billion fund. “That means the U.S. taxpayer will be left on the hook for the rest of it.”


A 1982 study from Sandia National Laboratories, commissioned for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the consequences of a nuclear meltdown would be catastrophic. The disaster could cause 50,000 fatalities and $314 billion in property damage.


In today’s money, that’s $720 billion.


How close is your home to a nuclear power plant?


A worst case scenario would have bankrupted a company, said Winfred Colbert, an energy and environmental attorney at the Houston office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. “They would not have gotten into it,” Colbert said.


The act that created the cap, known as Price-Anderson, said that federal and state governments will step in and cover “bodily injury, sickness, disease or resulting death, property damage and loss as well as reasonable living expenses for individuals evacuated” in the event of a disaster, according to the NRC’s Web site.


Because the losses are covered by the government, homeowner insurance policies won’t cover any of the damages. “All property and liability insurance policies issued in the U.S. exclude nuclear accidents,” says the NRC’s site.


If you live within the fallout area of a nuclear power plant and can no longer return home, you’ll have to get in line with everyone else for a government payout, which may or may not cover your needs.


Neither Colbert nor other experts could think of any other industry that enjoys such protection resulting from a failure of its product.


TaxMeAgain

Reactor vessel embrittlement is not really an issue. Plants have used low leakage loading patterns and essentially eliminated this concern since 30+ years ago. Please discontinue spreading fear –


laowai

Neutron flux cannot be totally avoided, the use of low leakage cores only helps to “reduce” the Embrittlement. In addition, Diablo Canyon did not use the low leakage cores before 1993.


” Fuel efficiency is also related to neutron flux outside the core since neutrons leaving the core are lost for the fission process in the core. This neutron “leakage” cannot be totally avoided because this required boundary conditions impossible to achieve in reality: either a core of infinite size or an effective reflector for neutrons installed all around the core. However, this leakage can be decreased with respect to the 11 standard” core loading patterns by special core loading schemes which are called “low leakage cores”


Google what happened to several plants in Europe, they are using the “low leakage” pattern as well in Europe !


BUT AT LEAST THEY WERE ADDRESSING THIS TECHNICAL ISSUE, UNLIKE PG&E, the company with the flawless track record in terms of safety.


http://www.thelocal.ch/20151008/worlds-oldest-nuclear-reactor-like-emmental


I suggest you stop spreading false technical facts to people that don’t have the time to research your claims.


Rambunctious

I demand he unscrew all of his light bulbs in his home… ; )


Side_Show_Bob

Newsom is 99.9% pure slime. You can’t find anything slimier on the planet.


achillesheal

Anthony wiener is likely slimier. As is bill Clinton especially since the revelations that he attends Pinocchio island with a pedophile. Cosby is likely slimier as well.


That’s probably about it though.


kettle

Side_Show_Bob says: Newsom is 99.9% pure slime.


What are you 12? Can’t respond with logic?


Jim Anderson

Team Adam Hill/PG&E’s gang.


Legal Department:

Marty Moroski, Steve Adamski, James Wagstaffe


HAZ MAT Crew:

Tom Jones, Charles Tenborg, Bill Worrell


Adam And The Shameful 6


If Tom Jones and PG&E were a little more careful about how and where their haz mat dirt was dumped they wouldn’t be in this mess.