Committed to shutting down Diablo Canyon reactors – sunset for nuclear power in California.

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Diablo Boys  Cartoon by Mark Bryan - ArtOfMarkBryan.com

Diablo Boys Cartoon by Mark Bryan – ArtOfMarkBryan.com

Related: Paul Frey calls our attention to this – Super Shear Earthquakes – Deadlier Than Deadly And from Myla Reson: Cooling Tower Resolution passed CA Environmental Caucus [pdf] For Immediate Release: May 21, 2015

Federal ruling calls future of Diablo Canyon reactors into question

Friends of the Earth:  Decision is beginning of the end for troubled nuclear plant Contacts: Damon Moglen, Friends of the Earth: (202) 352-4223, dmoglen@foe.org David Freeman, (310) 902-2147, greencowboysdf@gmail.com Bill Walker, (510) 759-9911, bw.deadline@gmail.com WASHINGTON – In a major victory that could mark the beginning of the end for the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners have ruled that an Atomic Safety Licensing Board will decide whether Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was allowed to illegally alter the plant’s license in an attempt to hide the risk from powerful earthquake faults discovered since it was designed and built. The Commission’s referral of the issue to the licensing board parallels a move that presaged the shutdown of Southern California Edison’s San Onofre nuclear plant two years ago. “This is a major victory that could be the turning point for a nuclear-free future for California,” said Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth, which had petitioned the NRC saying that the secret amendment of the license was an illegal maneuver designed to avoid holding a public hearing on the issue as required by federal law. “PG&E now knows that it is on the same path that forced Southern California Edison to pull the plug on San Onofre.” In a 3 -1 ruling released today, commissioners ruled that Friends of the Earth’s petition will now be considered by an expert panel of the licensing board. Friends of the Earth had alleged that PG&E is operating the 1960-era nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon in violation of their license and called for the reactors to be closed immediately pending public hearings to prove it is safe. The Commission did not rule on closing the reactors pending public hearings, but ruled that the safety issues should now be considered by the Commission’s executive director for operations. Today’s decision is all but identical to that the Commission in November 2012 in response to a similar petition from Friends of the Earth regarding to the damaged nuclear reactors at San Onofre. In that case, the licensing board ruled in in May 2013 that public hearings should be held as part of a formal license amendment proceeding to assess the safety of San Onofre.. When Edison announced the closure of San Onofre a few weeks later, they referred to the ASLB decision. 920x1240 “This decision is indeed the beginning of the end for Diablo Canyon,” said Dave Freeman, former head of the federal Tennessee Valley Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. “PG&E is not going to get away with running Diablo Canyon when the plant can not withstand the ground motion from the earthquake faults we now know surround these reactors,” said Freeman, a special advisor to Friends of the Earth. The ruling comes days after the NRC sent PG&E a letter requiring the utility to conduct further studies to show whether Diablo Canyon – California’s last nuclear plant, on the Pacific coast near San Luis Obispo – is operating within the bounds of its license. Diablo Canyon was one of only two U.S. reactors required to conduct further seismic risk evaluation because its license does not account for newly discovered hazards. ================= Related: Paul Frey calls our attention to this – Super Shear Earthquakes – Deadlier Than Deadly
Harvey Wasserman, who originally coined the term “No Nukes” back in the early ‘70s, and is an author, activist and journalist, jokes about his latest book, “Solartopia!” as he kicks off the latest speaker series of the Malibu Democratic Club. Photo: Malibu Times

Harvey Wasserman, who originally coined the term “No Nukes” back in the early ‘70s, and is an author, activist and journalist, jokes about his latest book, “Solartopia!” as he kicks off the latest speaker series of the Malibu Democratic Club. Photo: Malibu Times

11141173_951301371568447_5205277459108237257_n A May 9 meeting on Diablo Canyon sponsored by the Malibu Democratic Club, organized by club President Ann Doneen and Myla Reson, and MCed by Solartopia author Harvey Wasserman drew coverage from the Malibu Times and elicited a letter to the editor from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. [see below] The NRC’s comment that “the history of seismic safety at Diablo Canyon is a long and complicated one” is a bit disingenuous. Frank Egger, who was on the original Coastal Commission during the building of Diablo Canyon, reports the Coastal Commission did know at that time that enough faults were there to warrant nixing the site. He worked hard to block the CC endorsement but was overruled. Related: Paul Frey calls our attention to this – Super Shear Earthquakes – Deadlier Than Deadly And from Myla Reson: Cooling Tower Resolution passed CA Environmental Caucus [pdf] Here is a video of the meeting by The Center For Progressive Urban Politics, Our Diablo – The Case For Shuttering California’s Last Nuke featuring Harvey Wasserman, Linda Seeley, Paul Frey, Donna Gilmore and Richard Mathews… The NRC’s Letter Letter: Nuclear Reaction The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) would like to ensure readers ofThe Malibu Times have as full a picture as possible regarding safety at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The bottom line is that the NRC concludes the plant is operating safely and can continue doing so. The agency’s independent reviews of information about faults near Diablo Canyon consistently find the plant can safely withstand large earthquakes possible in that area. The most recent information about Diablo Canyon comes from an NRC directive in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima accident. The agency asked every U.S. nuclear power plant to use up-to-date information and modern analyses to re-evaluate their potential earthquake hazard. Diablo Canyon was one of three Western U.S. plants that submitted its re-evaluations in March. The NRC’s review of PG&E’s information concludes the plant can safely operate while additional analysis checks for possible safety enhancements. The most recent work builds on PG&E’s comprehensive seismic evaluation program, put in place in the mid-1980s before Diablo Canyon started operating. This program identifies and evaluates potential new seismic hazards, and the NRC reviews those evaluations to ensure agency requirements are met. Recent examples of this work include PG&E’s examination of the “Shoreline fault” near Diablo Canyon, as well as a state-mandated review of several faults, including Shoreline. An NRC inspector at the plant offered a “differing professional opinion” regarding the Shoreline fault and the plant’s seismic safety. After an extensive, multi-layered review of the inspector’s opinion the NRC’s Executive Director for Operations determined Diablo Canyon remains within its approved design and licensing basis, and there are no current concerns for safe operation. At the request of the staff member, the NRC made the entire opinion and review available on the NRC’s website at http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ml1425/ML14252A743.pdf The NRC recognizes that the history of seismic safety at Diablo Canyon is a long and complicated one. We have and will continue to review and inspect changes and potential risks to the station in an open and transparent manner to ensure the safety of the citizens of California, and the entire nation. Scott Burnell NRC Office of Public Affairs, Headquarters http://m.malibutimes.com/opinion/article_e634a9ca-ff30-11e4-9ebf-f324fe7735c8.html?mode=jqm