Mothers for Peace seeking delay of Diablo Canyon lease

June 27, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant










Statement by Mothers for Peace

Today, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) asked the California State Lands Commission to delay approval of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s application for a new lease that would allow the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant to use state tidelands until 2024 and 2025. SLOMFP asked the state to postpone making a decision on the lease for 30 days to allow comment on whether the state should prepare an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed lease.

SLOMFP wants more time to respond to assertions by the state staff — which did not become public until June 24 — that the Diablo Canyon site does not present an unusual degree of environmental risk. The group seeks a chance to submit its own expert analysis, prepared in 2015 for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s license renewal proceeding, showing that the earthquake risk posed by Diablo Canyon is potentially very serious.

SLOMFP said that a thorough environmental review by the state is not incompatible with the settlement recently reached by PG&E, Friends of the Earth, and other groups that plans the complete shutdown of Diablo Canyon by 2025 and replacement with renewable energy.

“While we are very pleased by the announcement that Diablo Canyon will close after 2025, it is also important to ensure that the plant’s environmental impacts are minimized during the interim period of operation,” said Jane Swanson, a spokesperson for SLOMFP.  “These impacts, which are potentially significant, include the effects on marine life of the once-through cooling system and discharges from the desalinization plant, as well as the effects of an earthquake-caused radiological accident.”

Swanson noted that the settlement agreement anticipated that an EIR would be requested; and that preparation of EIRs typically takes less than a year. “Avoiding the preparation of an EIR in this case is neither justified nor wise policy for protecting the environment,” she said.


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There’s probably a bunch who will hate this, but:

I see both sides of the argument.

First, safety isn’t really part the argument any longer because people have (mostly) learned how dangerous nuclear power can be.

To me the real issue is the waste. For political and corporate reasons, we don’t recycle the waste in this country. Even if we did, you still end up with a toxic brew that will (probably) outlast its inventors.

Yet, it has been an incredible driver of our society, a producer of electricity that outcompetes others, especially fossil fuels, and can do so day & night without interruption.

Of course, it does provide a large economic boost to the region, to say the least.

I believe that there is something better. There is always something better. While it may not be obvious in our comparatively short lifetimes, humans have been finding better, more efficient ways to do things for millennia.

PG&E has made their decision. Let it run its course, and in the meantime, innovate.

I see why they are called “mothers”.

“People have (mostly) learned how dangerous nuclear power can be.” No, people have been sold a lie of how dangerous nuclear power can be. Nuclear power, despite the accidents most people are aware of, has a history of producing power safely. I don’t dismiss Chernobyl – but that kind of an accident is impossible by design in US reactors. I don’t dismiss Fukushima, but tens of thousands of people were killed by a tsunami, whereas none were killed by radiation and the World Health Organization expects no statistically significant increase in cancer rates. Compare that to the 7 million people who die each year from burning fossil fuels, and the ever-increasing greenhouse gasses they emit.