California‚Äôs last nuclear plant to close after unanimous vote by regulators
January 11, 2018
admin

As reported by David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MPF) issued the following initial reaction to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision on the closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant:

Initial reaction of San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) to the January 11, 2018 vote of the CPUC on the Joint Proposal to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

Contact:         Jane Swanson, Spokesperson, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

                        (805) 440-1359

                        janeslo@icloud.com

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) welcomes today’s unanimous decision on the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. MFP attorney Sabrina Venskus summarized the organization’s reaction.

"The Commission made a well-reasoned and fair decision in this case. We are pleased that the Commission acknowledged that earlier closure of Diablo may be warranted, and has built into its Final Decision the possibility of challenging the continued operation of Diablo well before the anticipated 2024/2025 shutdown."

The Decision keeps open the door for an earlier closure date in response to evidence submitted by Mothers for Peace and an allied organization, Women’s Energy Matters. Expert witnesses showed that replacement of Diablo’s electricity output by renewable sources might well be possible as soon as 2020. The Decision authorizes the Commission to reconsider PG&E's requested 2024/2025 retirement dates should "facts change in a manner that indicates Diablo Canyon should be retired earlier."   The Decision states that, "Because there is a possibility that Diablo Canyon may cease operations earlier than 2024 and 2025, PG&E should prepare for that contingency."

A more complete press release from MFP with links to relevant documents will follow later in the day. [See MFP's full press release, posted below as an Update.]

Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, stated in response to the news:

Don’t pop the champagne yet.  It ain’t over till its over!  Remember construction started in the late 1960’s but the forty year NRC license started in 1985 when they finally went on line!  Pray that this 55 y/o [year old] reactor holds together for six more years!  I was retained by Mothers for Peace as part of these hearings.  My report is quite damning and is available at this link:    http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//arnie-gundersen-fairewinds-associates-testimony-to-the-cpuc-31-1-17?rq=mothers%20for%20peace     Bottom line:  PGE’s deferred maintenance is hideous, seismic issues are real, and the reactor vessel is seriously embrittled.  Best case is that it breaks and can’t be affordably restarted.  Worst case is a meltdown.  Pray for the next six years!

Friends of the Earth (FOE), was originally founded by David Brower in the 1960s to oppose the construction and operation of Diablo Canyon. FOE played a lead role in hammering out the Diablo Canyon shutdown agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric and other partners from labor and the environmental movement.

Damon Moglen, Senior Strategic Advisor at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:

The commission’s decision to support closing Diablo Canyon gives California a historic opportunity to create a blueprint for closing nuclear and fossil fuel plants across the country.

With the plans in motion to close the plant, the commission needs to begin the process of replacing Diablo Canyon with clean, renewable sources of energy. Further, the commission missed an opportunity to ensure that the plant’s workers and local community would receive the support they need to make this transition successful.

While state leaders talk about taking action on climate change, today’s decision by the commission fell short of putting those values into action. We will continue to work to assure that Diablo Canyon is replaced by greenhouse gas-free renewable energy, and that we treat the workers and local communities with the respect that such a historic decision demands. [See the full FOE press release here.]

Beyond Nuclear, alongside Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), will co-present on radioactive waste issues at a MFP educational event in San Luis Obispo, CA on Jan. 19, 2018.

Update on January 11, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Additional media coverage:

Update on January 12, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 11, 2018

 

DIABLO CANYON CLOSURE APPROVED:

Joint press release from San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and Women’s Energy Matters

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

https://mothersforpeace.org/

Contacts:  

Molly Johnson

mollypj@yahoo.com

(805) 296-0524

Linda Seeley

lindaseeley@gmail.com

(805) 234-1769

Jane Swanson

janeslo@icloud.com

(805) 440-1359

 

Women’s Energy Matters

http://womensenergymatters.com/index.html

Contacts:

Jean Merrigan

jnmwem@gmail.com

(925) 957-6070

Robert Freehling

Rfreeh123@sbcglobal.net

(707) 362-4267

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) and Women’s Energy Matters (WEM) welcome the unanimous decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. In remarks supporting the Decision, CPUC President Michael Picker cited the work of MFP and WEM in the proceeding.  The two organizations presented testimony and analysis showing that the plant is increasingly uneconomic to operate.

Jean Merrigan of Women’s Energy Matters states that,

“When the Joint Proposal was announced, I was underwhelmed by PG&E's proposal to retire the plant in 2024/25.  We set out to show that a much earlier retirement date is not only viable but needed.  I'm glad the Commission acknowledged our work and that the Decision allows for the possibility that the plant could close sooner rather than later."

 

Links to more information:

The Proposed Decision wording that was unanimously accepted on January 11 as the Final Decision http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M205/K090/205090240.PDF

The Opening Brief filed by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace attorney Sabrina Venskus is at https://mothersforpeace.org/2017-05-26-opening-brief-regarding-joint-proposal-for-closure-of-diablo-to-cpuc-of-slomfp

Women’s Energy Matters' Reply Brief with Comments on the Proposed Decision may be viewed at 

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M202/K235/202235522.PDF

WEM and MFP co-sponsored expert testimony by Robert Freehling on Diablo Canyon retirement issues.  That testimony is available at https://mothersforpeace.org/data/2017/robert-freehling-testimony/view 

The archived webcast of the January 11, 2018 meeting of the CPUC is at 

http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/voting_meeting/20180111/

The Diablo Canyon discussion starts about an hour into the webcast.

Although PG&E proposes to shut down the two reactors at Diablo Canyon in 2024 and 2025, today’s Decision keeps open the door for an earlier closure date.

The Decision authorizes the Commission to reconsider PG&E's requested 2024/2025 retirement dates should "facts change in a manner that indicates Diablo Canyon should be retired earlier."   The Decision states that, "Because there is a possibility that Diablo Canyon may cease operations earlier than 2024 and 2025, PG&E should prepare for that contingency."

MFP attorney Sabrina Venskus reacted to the CPUC Decision by stating,

"The Commission made a well-reasoned and fair decision in this case. We are pleased that the Commission acknowledged that earlier closure of Diablo may be warranted, and has built into its Final Decision the possibility of challenging the continued operation of Diablo well before the anticipated
2024/2025 shutdown."

Update on January 12, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin
Article originally appeared on Beyond Nuclear (http://www.beyondnuclear.org/).
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