Mothers for Peace seeking delay of Diablo Canyon lease
June 27, 2016
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.