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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smile4thecamera

Diablo was the last nuclear power plant operating in California so surely it’s closure cannot come as a surprise to anyone. Has anyone been reading up on the nuclear plant disaster Fukushima lately? The radioactive water is hitting the pacific coast now… Diablo sits on the water and has the San Andreas fault line only a mere 66 miles away, so the potential is very high for our little county to have massive issues when the next big quake hits. I suspect that Diablo will not be hiring new employees and those that have been there a long time are at retirement age, so between their retirement (they were paid well!) and buy-outs they will come out just fine. PG&E has offered money to help the county – it’s more than they contribute in a year. There are so many better alternatives to nuclear power, our county needs to move forward and devote some time to discovery and planning ahead for once.


SamLouis

I’ll bet that most of the replacement power comes from natural gas and coal plants in AZ, UT, NV and NM. It’s a real shame from an environmental standpoint that (carbon-free) Diablo Canyon is closing.


Francesca Bolognini

WOW. I just read some of these comments and WOW. Personal attacks abound, the signature tactic of venal, ill informed TROLLS. Also all of this spin on how “outdated” concerns over nuclear facilities are and how “safe and green” (!) they are boggle the mind. What closet are you guys living in where none of the information on the global problems with nukes have not reached you? Not the least of which, when you get past all the radiation leaks, happens to be a rather large carbon footprint? I would guess ya’ll are PG$E employees who don’t want your overpaid public utility gravy train to end.


I post articles every day on alternative energy sources now becoming available that are so much cheaper and cleaner than running and attempting to maintain a nuke. And none of them produce PLUTONIUM by the ton every year and create massive storage problems for the most toxic substance on earth It does not occur naturally, plutonium, we manufacture it. In nuclear plants. Then it is used to create nuclear weapons. Wonderful legacy, should our species survive our current stupidity.


During my many years of opposition to the plant, I never saw a dime and was not aware of anyone getting rich from this work. There were, however many contractors and of coarse individuals who chose to work there who got quite wealthy. The plant, that was first estimated to cost $6 Million was eventually to actually cost $ 6 BILLION (with a B). Since, as an official sucker of the public tit, PG&E is granted a 13% rate of return on its’ investment, well, Which would you rather have? 13% of the millions or the BILLIONS? And who pays for this? THE RATE PAYERS. THE PEOPLE. Who does the money go to? The overpaid plant workers and mostly those at the top . In this case, that happens to be The ROTHSCHILDS, who are the main owners of PG$E. Do not expect those guys to pick up the tab for cleaning up after themselves? That guarantee of profit protects them from liabilities also. Well, maybe not from their blatant disregard for the safety of their infrastructure, but from the inevitable consequences of an earthquake or the more likely tsunami.


Let’s start a county power project using biomass, solar, wave action, etc., and cut PG$E out entirely. If I owned my home, I would be off-grid in a heart beat. Let’s make that easy. Whether or not you realize it, you have been paying , out of your own pocket, to subsidize PG$E most of your lives. Shall we put that money to work for our own community for a change and reap the benefits ourselves?


Hey TROLLS ! Drag your knuckles on over here and come get your exercise for the day giving me a “thumbs down”! HA, ha. And don’t forget to leave me some nasty comments on how :uninformed” my views are. I always love that one.


SanSimeonSam

I usually avoid responding to moronic rhetoric from igorant anti-semites but i will make an exception in your case. I am impressed that Diablo Canyon is now an international conspiracy led by European Jewish bankers. Well done. An idea with an historical precedent but interesting nonetheless. Your scientific knowledge and understanding of nuclear physics is as ignorant as your diatribe against the jews.


SanSimeonSam

ignorant sorry for the misspell


SanSimeonSam

I too weep for the 10s of micro-organisms that are slaughtered everyday by once thru cooling. The loss of thousands of jobs, revenue for our county and the closure of a safe and greenhouse gas free energy source is a small price to pay. My grandchildren that live here will be strengthened by the sacrifice they will make in the name of protecting these micro-organisms and feeding your ignorant paranoia and hatred. I ain’t gonna thank you clowns for that. You have done nothing to protect us or promote the safety of this facility so don’t strain yourselves patting yourselves on the back.


truthinscience

Jane and Linda, — continuing — your VERY OUTDATED and HIGHLY UNINFORMED views. It is time for you to open your eyes to the real world that is facing us. Your views continue to foster America’s blind march forward, not for progress and survival, but for increasing damage and decline. Maybe you both need to go to college and get up to speed on the REAL ISSUES we are facing. Diablo Canyon is a vital component of our hopes to curb and reduce deadly increases in CO2 gasses in our atmosphere.


If you won’t do that, then sit back and enjoy our increasing temperatures and disappearing water … which apparently you both deserve.


truthinscience

Jane and Linda, You continue to clearly demonstrate “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink”. It is time that you go back to your old school days ways and educate yourself on the science of global climate change and the dangerously increasing level of CO2 gas, all coming from human activity. There are FAR GREATER issues we are facing, issues that demand that existing nuclear power be retained, extended and added to. You are forsaking our children’s future survival with your VERY OUTDATED


Slosum

Congratulations Jane and Linda. Now both of you can come to my home and peddle my bike powered generator. It’s clean and renewable… as long as you keep peddling. I’ll tell you when you can stop.


SLOthinker

Jane and Linda

Why don’t you share with all of us how much money you have been paid by PG&E over the years as a official intervenor. I understand they pay you between 150-250 per hour.


This is through a program mandated by the CPUC that forces the utility to pay outside groups that register as intervenors


How many millions have you been paid over the years?


discloser

How about all of you quit your belly aching and become part of finding solutions that actually work? PG&E has made their decision. Now what are YOU going to do to help your community thrive?


info

I’m going to Vote no on upcoming Bond Measure A,B,C,D,E,……XYZ to keep the community from paying for this nightmare.


easymoney

OK, riddle me this:

Where is the 9% of CA’s power that Diablo produces going to come from? When was the last Hydro Elec. plant built here in CA? How many thousands acres of solar panels will it take to make up the difference? Where are the SLO school districts, county staff, public works and others going to get the soon to be missing millions of tax dollars Diablo provides?

This is but just one of the many symptoms of the crumbling infrastructure facing the once great state of CA and the dem led legislature that is driving us all down the politically correct hole it has dug for us…


discloser

Innovation.


SamLouis

Physics and chemistry tops your “Innovation.”


Jorge Estrada

The truth be known, we pay more for electricity on the coast to subsidize areas that have a greater demand. We all will pay more when the demand for electricity exceeds the supply and we on the coast will pay the highest rate, just because, like everything else. For most who take the time to read this, the rate payers, will go ape shit when the future rates include subsidies that have nothing to do with the cost to provide the service, a carry over from PG&E having the pay to play, an established rule by the special interests. Remember that revenge is a dish best served cold, just like the power plant is off. The answer for today is easy money and for tomorrow, a well earned deaf ear.