May 17, 2022 – In response to Governor Newsom’s suggestion to extend the operating life of Diablo Canyon nuclear facility beyond its planned closure dates of 2024 and 2025, 67 organizations from across the country sent him a letter of protest.
Jane Swanson states, “There is nothing smart about continuing to operate Diablo Canyon beyond its current licenses. It is old, dirty, dangerous, and expensive! Let’s invest California’s surplus money in clean and safe energy resources, conservation, and efficiency.”
Full text of letter to Governor Newsom:
Re: Protest of proposal to extend the operation of Diablo Canyon nuclear facility
Your suggestion to extend the operational life of the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility is an outrage and a betrayal to those of us seeking clean and safe energy for our State.
Diablo means “devil” in Spanish, and the name is fitting. This plant is surrounded by multiple earthquake faults, one of which, the Shoreline Fault, comes within a third of a mile of the Unit 2 reactor. Diablo Canyon, right on the coast, is uniquely vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, making it one of the most dangerous nuclear plants in the country. If there is a major accident, the cost could make a few billion dollars trivial. Damage from Fukushima has been estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
It is an aging plant – designed in the 1960s with construction completed in the 1980s. Anticipating imminent closure, maintenance has been deferred, waivers granted, and key employees gone. It is becoming increasingly more dangerous. This nuclear plant should be shut down as soon as possible; there is nothing smart about continuing to operate it.
Allowing Diablo to run beyond its current licenses would produce hundreds of tons more high level radioactive waste, dangerous for half a million years, and for which there is still no safe place to store it long term. Continued operation adds additional risk and cost.
There is no concern about replacement power when the plant closes. The August 2020 outage had almost nothing to do with planning or generator capacity. It was due primarily to CAISO’s market structure which failed at every point. Here is their own summary:
Energy market practices contributed to the inability to obtain additional energy that could have alleviated the strained conditions on the CAISO grid on August 14 and 15. The contributing causes identified at this stage include: under-scheduling of demand in the day-ahead market by scheduling coordinators, convergence bidding masking the tight supply conditions, and the configuration of the residual unit commitment market process.
Root Cause Analysis, Mid-August 2020 Extreme Heat Wave, Jan 2021, CAISO, CPUC, CEC, p.113
The problem was NOT about the heat wave and needing additional power plants.
On April 15, 2022, the CPUC wrote a letter to the editor in the Capitol Weekly with the assurance that “the State has ordered an unprecedented amount of new clean energy procurement—11.5 gigawatts—to replace the retirement of Diablo Canyon (along with other aging gas plants that are retiring). This includes wind, solar, batteries, geothermal, and long duration storage that will be online starting in 2023.
The federal program offering $6 billion dollars to qualified plants would likely not cover the amount of money required to bring Diablo into compliance with NRC and State agency regulations – hearings, proceedings, lawsuits, construction of cooling towers, environmental reports, and repairs. That money would be better spent invested in clean and safe energy resources, conservation, and efficiency.
Governor Newsom, respect the Joint Settlement Agreement signed by Pacific Gas & Electric Company and approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. Diablo Canyon is dangerous, dirty, and expensive. It must retire as planned in 2024 and 2025.
Signed by 67 organizations from across the country,
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, mothersforpeace.org
Committee to Bridge the Gap, committeetobridgethegap.org
Nuclear Information and Resource Service, www.nirs.org
Beyond Nuclear, https://beyondnuclear.org
Santa Lucia Sierra Club, www.sierraclub.org/santalucia
Samuel Lawrence Foundation, www.samuellawrencefoundation.org
CODEPINK Women for Peace, SF Bay Area, www.codepink.org
Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), https://neis.org/
World Business Academy, www.worldbusiness.org
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US, https://wilpfus.org/
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Santa Cruz Branch, wilpfsantacruz.org/
Nuclear Watch South, www.nonukesyall.org
Redwood Alliance, redwoodalliance.org
Green Party of California, https://cagreens.org
Green Party of Sonoma County http://sonomagreenparty.org/
SLO Clean Water, slocleanwater.org
Physicians for Social Responsibility, www.psrpa.org
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles, www.psr-la.org
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Sacramento, www.sacpsr.org
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, www.oregonpsr.org
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine, psrmaine.org
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Arizona, https://arizona.psr.org
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Wisconsin, www.psr-wisconsin.org
San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility, https://www.sfbaypsr.org
Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Chesapeakepsr.org
Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, www.midmopeaceworks.org
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, nuclearactive.org
Gender and Radiation Impact Project, www.genderandradiation.org
Responsible Government Action Group
Biodiversity First! https://biodiversityfirst.net/
Snake River Alliance, snakeriveralliance.org
Sustainable Energy & Economic Development, www.NoNuclearWaste.org
Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo, https://uuslo.org
Occupy Bergen County, https://www.facebook.com/OccupyBergenC
Peace Farm, http://peacefarm.us/
Committees for Land, Air, Water & Species, http://clawssb.org
Dallas Peace and Justice Center, Nuclear Free World Committee, https://www.dpjc.org/
Indivisible: Rapid Response Team SLO, email@example.com
Green State Solutions
Abalone Alliance Safe Energy Clearinghouse, www.energy-net.org
Oregon Conservancy Foundation
Ecologistics, Inc., ecologistics.org
Tri-Valley CAREs, www.trivalleycares.org
Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT), https://shutdownfermi.org
Erwin Citizens Awareness Network
Positive Discipline Community Resources, https://www.pdcrcc.org/
Alternate Energy Resource Network, https://www.alternate-energy.net
Ohio Nuclear Free Network, https://onfn.blogspot.com
SLO Beaver Brigade, slobeaverbrigade.com
Earth Day Alliance, Inc., www.earthdayalliance.com
Radiation Truth, radiationtruth.org
Friends of Dutra Creek
Frey Vineyards Ltd, freywine.com
Coalition Against Nukes
Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping (CARD), cardnm.org
Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
Los Angeles Alliance for Survival
Farm to Crag
The Allison Center for Peace, www.TruthTribunal.org
North County Watch, www.northcountywatch.org
No Nukes Action, nonukesaction.Wordpress.com
Information Press, www.sloinfopress.net
Atascadero United Methodist Church, Atascaderoumc.org
Proposition One Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Future, http://prop1.org
Michigan Stop the Nuclear Bombs Campaign
New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, Inc., necnp.org