Diablo Canyon should shut down now

June 21, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Opinion by Jane Swanson and Linda Seeley

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) learned this morning of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) proposal to withdraw its application for license renewal for the two reactors at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. The current licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.

PG&E’s proposal secures a date certain for the final shutdown of the last nuclear plant in the state of California. Since 2009, when PG&E submitted its license renewal application to the NRC, SLOMFP has opposed the operation of Diablo Canyon on safety and environmental grounds.

Mothers for Peace is also pleased that under the settlement, PG&E will replace the energy from Diablo Canyon with renewables. The settlement confirms expert testimony submitted by Mothers for Peace in 2015 – which PG&E disputed at that time – that the power from Diablo Canyon can easily be replaced with solar, wind, wave, and geothermal energy.

“We are pleased that PG&E now recognizes that renewables can replace Diablo Canyon economically,” said Mothers for Peace spokesperson Jane Swanson. Mothers for Peace also applauds the agreement’s provisions to provide economic protection for workers and the community.

Mothers for Peace remains very concerned about the safety and environmental risks posed by current operation of the reactor. As the principal watchdog organization over Diablo Canyon, Mothers for Peace opposed the issuance of a license to the earthquake-vulnerable reactors in 1973, and continues to advocate for strict safety enforcement before the NRC.

“During the next eight years, we will heighten our vigilance over safety at the reactors,” said Linda Seeley, spokesperson for Mothers for Peace. “Our work to safeguard public health and the environment is needed now more than ever. Every day that Diablo Canyon is online, PG&E is playing Russian roulette with the safety of our community

Among the issues that SLOMFP will be assessing with its long-time attorney, Diane Curran, are these:

·      Even with a firm shut-down date, Diablo maintenance must be not be deferred. This is an aging plant, designed in the 1960’s and built largely in the 1970’s. The need for maintenance is on-going.

·      Earthquake data are still being collected and evaluated, and the risk of an earthquake-caused release of radioactive materials into the ecosphere remains high. Mothers for Peace will monitor the data and refer them to our expert geologists. Mothers for Peace still maintains that the plant, built on active faults, should not have been licensed originally, and should cease operation based on what we know now.

·      The majority of the high level radioactive wastes remain in the spent fuel pools, where they are the most vulnerable to fire, whether caused by an accidental loss of cooling water or by an act of terrorism. Mothers for Peace will continue to push PG&E to transfer the wastes into the most robust dry casks available.

·      The NRC continues to require added safety protections as a result of the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster. Diablo must be held accountable for meeting all those requirements in a timely way.

·      The damage to the marine environment caused by once-through cooling should not be allowed to continue for another 9 years.

Read PG&E’s Joint Proposal for shut-down.

Jane Swanson and Linda Seeley are spokes persons for San Luis Obispo County Mothers for Peace.

 


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shelworth

I’m glad they solved that night-time solar power problem.


TaxMeAgain

Remember when Morro Bay declined the offer to rebuild the power plant and get a solid stream of revenue from Duke? It was all a GO in 2004 and then Morro Bay put on the brake. Since then, NOTHING has changed in that city. They are struggling financially and for 12 years it has been stuck in time.


Peering into my crystal ball, I see the future of SLO and its infrastructure. Dead.


SamLouis

It’s mind-boggling to consider MB’s missteps with regard to Duke. MB was in the position to make some fairly serious demands of Duke. At the very least that plant would have been upgraded and run for a few more decades — and millions of tax dollars.


Instead MB has in inoperable derelict power plant in its midst which will cost $$$ to tear down. Helluva job, MB!


SamLouis

SLOMFP has been a pathetic, effete and ignorant organization for decades. Given the above article it appears it hasn’t changed one bit…


Gordo

Thomas Aquinas:

You are correct that Pacific Gas and Electric company’s decision to close the plant was a fiscal decision.


Two years ago a very perceptive friend of mine told me that the plant would be closing and that PG&E would not pursue renewal of its license. My friend said that PG&E was going to suffer death by a “Thousand Cuts” the first attack would be the lawsuits brought by Jane Swanson and people of her ilk that would tie up PG&E in court and cost millions of dollars to defend. The second attack would be the greedy County government always with its hand out wanting something else from PG&E. Able to hold up the licensing they became very adept at the art of extortion from this private power generating business. The last blow was the actual plan itself. The Aging infrastructure combined with the need to upgrade its design to meet modern safety standards and to mitigate hazards posed by new data uncovered relating to earthquake faults made the idea of renewing the license if he at best.


However, a nuclear power plant is still a valuable asset that should not be turned loose of abruptly. The fact is you’ll never see another nuclear power plant built on the west coast of the United States thanks to Jane Swanson and her ilk. Head PG&E not been bled dry with lawsuits and greedy local governments with their hands out they might have found ways to control costs and to have made upgrades to the plant and still turned a profit in our deregulated energy Market.


But that is not to be and soon they will depart from the scene and we will be left with a dry Cask storage facility and a plant that will create about 600 jobs for people who are in the dismantling business. PG&E might go into the water purveyor business if the state Coastal Commission doesn’t balk at the idea of them providing water from their desalinization plant to a thirsty County.


Ultimately it is not just the county but it is the state of California that will feel the loss of the only operating Nuclear Plant on the West Coast. For all the talk the left wing makes about carbon Footprints and global warming and destroying the environment nuclear power held the one true hope of being able to provide clean energy in abundance to a growing economy.


If you want to see where this state is headed I suggest you take a look at Venezuela.


shelworth

Great comment, you nailed it, except for the “growing economy” part.


TaxMeAgain

I’m done hearing from you Jane and Linda. You say that you respect the employees and the hard workers that have run this plant flawlessly for 30 years. You lie. Nearly all of what you say is a lie. Go in a corner and gloat if you will, but now is not the time to kick the 2000 families that are out of a job.


Perspicacious

As I sit through yet ANOTHER outage(several today), I can’t help but be amazed and angry! Our power production system cannot even keep up on the first hot day of the year, but we have these wackos shutting down power sources. Do you people have any idea how many sick and elderly die when the power goes out during a heat wave? I know, you don’t care…all in the name of Mother Earth. Well I have two words for you and your type. !#@%k off!


Gordo

Congratulations Comrade Swanson and Mother’s for Peace; you wore them down to the point they threw in the towel.


Now we embark on renewable energy.


Will you cry when thousands of birds are killed by giant wind turbines?


Will you scream “no” when Kit Foxes and other native species are uprooted from the interior valleys by thousands of acres of solar panels?


Will you march with your walkers and rascal scooters to stop the construction of hydroelectric plants in the Sierras?


Get ready to live in the new California; rolling blackouts, inadequate power grids and declining standard of living..


Great Job!


ThomasAquinas

Don’t give Mothers for Peace that much credit. Don’t think for one minute, PG&E would close this golden goose, if it wasn’t in their best interest. I’ve lived in Los Osos for a long time, never really worried about Diablo. Nuclear power has been shown to be reliable and “green”. This plant is old and PG&E doesn’t want to spend the money to bring it back in compliance. Reference their gas system, terrible shape. San Bruno, Morro Bay, Rancho Seco, Humboldt, Moss Landing, the Lake County fires, the recent bankruptcy, Prop. 16, and so many more examples.

Nukes need updating and refurbishing, money, money, money.

I’m surprised how foolish people are, and how they refuse to use analytical logic, and engineering foundations to realize the decision was only about money!!!


SamLouis

I think PG&E is following the American way. Rather than actually produce power, it’s largely going to become a power transmission and power brokerage company as they own the power lines that connect to our homes and businesses.


Leave the difficult and messy work or power generation to others, most likely low cost operators somewhere in Arizona or Nevada. You can bet that if power loss wasn’t a factor, that PG&E’s new sources our power would either be in China or Mexico or at the very least, Ontario Hydro up in Canada.


One thing is for certain. The closure of Diablo Canyon is a loss for the environment, the consumer and the tax-payer.


There is sure to be sweaty, dark evenings ahead where we daydream of the power once generated by Diablo Canyon and Morro Bay.


AtomicAJ

“This plant is old and PG&E doesn’t want to spend the money to bring it back in compliance.” What makes you think the plant isn’t in compliance now?


Snoid

A win for you, however please fill us in in on what will be the renewal resource you see replacing this one. Is it wave machines, millions of acres of solar panels like in Cal valley now, wind towers like Tahachapi has? Please tell me what is acceptable in your eyes as a reliable source of power for the masses?


Perspicacious

Just sat through a 45 minute power outage. So, let’s discuss the wisdom of shutting down power plants, shall we?


Hmmm…no nukes, no water storage that can double as hydro power…what a bunch of kooks the enviros are and they are ruining this country.


Fortunately, during the power outage, my generator burned fossil fuel and I still enjoyed the comforts of home that power brings.