2015 - 08 - 09 ASLB Rejection of Mothers for Peace Contentions is Not the End of the Story

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) is disappointed but not surprised by the recent Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) ruling. On August 6, 2015, the ASLB rejected SLOMFP’s new contentions opposing Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) application for license renewal of the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors near San Luis Obispo.

Starting with construction of the Diablo Canyon plant in the mid-60’s and continuing after licensing in 1984, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has consistently supported PG&E’s bottom line and neglected obvious environmental and safety issues.

Despite this current ruling, SLOMFP is confident that the days of Diablo Canyon are numbered. It is an aging plant using outdated technology at a time when California's use of sustainable energy is on an upswing.


The ASLB's rejection of SLOMFP's contention that nuclear power is neither needed nor practical for 21st Century energy needs in California reveals archaic thinking. SLOMFP’s expert witness on alternatives, Mark Cooper, makes the case that alternative sources of energy are available at lower cost and without the level of environmental risk posed by radioactive wastes now.  And California is committed to the goal of relying on renewable sources for 33 percent of energy by 2020. Mark Cooper’s findings are accessible at http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1509/ML15096A614.pdf

In its seismic contention SLOMFP made the case that PG&E’s 2015 seismic hazards analysis relies on outdated or unjustified methods and assumptions.  For details see http://mothersforpeace.org/data/2015/2015-07-31-mfp-amendment-to-seismic-contention Just as the NRC averted its eyes from the Hosgri Fault when it granted PG&E permission to operate Diablo originally, the NRC has chosen to ignore recent data and models showing that earthquakes on given faults may be much larger than previously assumed.

SLOMFP has other litigation pending.  One is a collaborative petition which asserts that the NRC violates the National Environmental Protection Act in decisions about the continued storage of high-level radioactive waste.  Read more at: