2003 PG&E Shareholder Proposal Regarding Risk Reduction of Radioactive Wastes

A Shareholder Proposal was submitted on behalf of the Mothers for Peace at the 2003 and 2004 PG&E Shareholder Meetings.


Preliminary statement PG&E's production and storage of high level radioactive wastes at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant involves potentially catastrophic risks to the public, to the environment, and to our company which must be mitigated.

National Security Risks: Since 9/11/01 we have realized our vulnerability to terrorism and urgent need for increased vigilance. Diagrams of U.S. nuclear power plants were found in Al Queda enclaves in Afghanistan. A terrorist attack on hundreds of tons of high level radioactive wastes at Diablo Canyon could render uninhabitable for generations extensive California coastal areas. Nuclear Regulatory Commission anti-terrorist exercises to determine potential vulnerability of nuclear plants did not consider all weapons or methods attributed to Al Queda terrorists or direct hit by large aircraft. After 9/11 the NRC revealed that “nuclear power plants were not designed to withstand such crashes”, and that consequences of a spent-fuel accident "could be comparable to those for a severe reactor accident."Radioactive wastes are more vulnerable than nuclear reactors.

Storage, Earthquake and Transportation Risks: Diablo Canyon operations are continually creating substantial quantities of high level radioactive wastes in spent-fuel pools 2-1/2 miles from a major active California coast earthquake fault. Potential magnitude of a possible spent-fuel accident increases as quantities of radioactive wastes increase. Every day of unrestricted operation each Diablo Canyon reactor produces radioactive wastes equivalent to those of an Hiroshima bomb. These wastes -including Cesium137, Strontium90 and Plutonium239- are so hazardous that Department Of Energy requires isolation for 10,000 years. No safe off-site storage place exists or will be available -if ever- for over a decade. Even if storage outside California becomes feasible, shipment to a distant storage site on barges, trains and trucks would entail significantly increased risks of accidents or terrorism.

Fiscal Risks: PG&E's financial prospects are threatened by bankruptcy of its largest subsidiary, a $4 billion unfair practices suit by the California Attorney General, and pending class-actions. Share prices have deeply declined; dividends have been suspended; thousands of shareholders, pensioners and retirees have been hurt. Any loss from a catastrophic nuclear accident could jeopardize corporate viability and remaining shareholder equity. Policy Risks: The recent “Erin Brockovich” film revealed to shareholders and the public PG&E disregard of human health and life resulting in a $333 million class-action settlement. No corporate profit goal can justify disregard of serious hazards to public and environmental health and safety.

Conclusion: Fiscally and morally, PG&E has a compelling duty to mitigate risks arising from production and storage of high level radioactive wastes at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant.

THEREFORE, RESOLUTION: Shareholders recommend that Board of Directors adopt and implement a new policy and plan to reduce PG&E vulnerability to a catastrophic nuclear accident or terrorist attack at Diablo Canyon; and that pursuant to such plan, production of high level radioactive wastes shall not exceed the current capacity of existing spent-fuel pools, thereby averting untenable risks of possible off-site shipments or excessive on-site storage.