The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), with the participation of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), California State Lands Commission (CSLC), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Coastal Commission (CCC), and the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board), invites the public to attend a listening session on February 10, 2023, related to CNRA’s required actions under Senate Bill 846 (Dodd, 2022).
In person at:
County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Chambers
1055 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Remote Access via Zoom:
Please register in advance at Webinar Registration – Zoom.
During this listening session, the public will have the opportunity to provide comment on the topics of a to-be developed Land Conservation and Economic Development Plan and state regulatory actions needed to extend the operations of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Representatives from the CNRA, GO-Biz, CSLC, CPUC, CCC, and Water Board will be present.
SB 846 preserves the option of extending the operations of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Among other things, SB 846 requires the CNRA to develop and submit to the Legislature a Land Conservation and Economic Development Plan by March 23, 2023. It also requires the CNRA to facilitate a public process to consider public input concerning the environmental impacts and mitigation of extended operations of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
- 9 AM: Welcome
- 9:30 AM – 12: 15 PM: Session 1
- Overview of Land Conservation and Economic Development Plan Requirement
- Public Comment on Session 1
- 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM: Break
- 12:45 PM – 3:30 PM: Session 2
- Overview of State Regulatory Actions Needed to Extend Operations of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant
- Public Comment on Session 2
Comments are limited to three minutes or less per person. Depending on the number of members of the public seeking to make a comment, the time allotted for each comment may be adjusted.
If you are attending the listening session in person and plan to make a public comment related to Session 1 or Session 2, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, affiliation, and whether you are representing a federal agency, state agency, local agency, or Native American tribe. Please also indicate which session topic your comment will speak to.
If you are attending the listening session via Zoom and plan to make a public comment, indicate that request when you register.
Written comments may be submitted to email@example.com. Written comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM on March 3, 2023 for consideration in the CNRA’s development of a Land Conservation and Economic Development Plan as required by SB 846.
Mothers for Peace and Friends of the Earth filed this joint statement. It was also read aloud at the in-person meeting.
February 10, 2023
Topic 2: Actions Needed to Extend Operations of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant
Both organizations are resolute in opposition to the proposal to extend the operations of Diablo Canyon for a myriad of reasons.
- The extended operation of Diablo Canyon severs the Joint Settlement Agreement of 2018. This was a good-faith agreement among all parties and approved by the legislators and the CPUC to close the plant with a well-thought-out and equitable plan. Now we have chaos, confusion, distraction, and wasted time and money.
- The billions of dollars in federal, state, and local tax and ratepayer money being spent on salvaging this aging plant depresses investment in the growth of renewable energy resources. This money and effort would be better spent on solar, wind, and energy storage. That, in fact, was the original intent of the Joint Settlement Agreement.
- The California legislators passed SB 846 without accurate, reliable, and unbiased analyses. We must have impartial, objective studies of:
- the projected need for Diablo’s energy beyond 2025;
- the projected renewable energy and battery storage resources that will come on line to replace Diablo by 2025;
- the cost comparison to California tax and ratepayers for energy from renewable sources vs. energy coming from Diablo Canyon.
- The seismic risk at Diablo Canyon has been dismissed and minimized from the earliest days of construction. SB 846 acknowledges the need for a seismic update, but it doesn’t specify an agency to conduct the update. The NRC doesn’t do it, the Peer Review Panel doesn’t do it, and the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee doesn’t have the expertise to do it. Who is going to renew the studies of seismic risk to the plant, its systems and components, and the high-level radioactive waste storage pools and casks? Just this week, in Turkey, a 7.8 earthquake was followed in hours by a 7.5 quake, devastating the already-damaged infrastructure. Diablo Canyon has never been analyzed for two earthquakes in quick succession, even though this is a real possibility. The State of California cannot afford to play Russian roulette with the safety of millions of people and the agricultural devastation that would result if one or more of the interconnected faults at Diablo Canyon caused an unpredicted quake.
- This is an old plant. Systems and components are aging, degrading, corroding, and leaking. Unit 1’s reactor vessel is embrittled. Maintenance has been deferred while PG&E has been planning for decommissioning – not for a renewed license. Recent NRC inspections show a dissatisfied workforce fearful of corporate repercussions if problems are reported. It is not prudent to do a U-turn with a nuclear facility. Diablo Canyon must close as scheduled in 2024 and 2025.
- Environmental review is being waived or expedited. The California Environmental Quality Act has been deemed nullified by SB 846. The State Water Resources Control Board has been instructed to allow the continuation of the now unlawful once-through cooling system which is warming the local waters and killing massive numbers of sea life through entrapment and impingement. The Board has waived mandated changes to the cooling system since 2010. It’s time to stop this ruination of our marine environment. We must look long and carefully at all the environmental impacts and safety risks of continued operation – not bypass them with a legislative bill.
- Continued operation of Diablo Canyon equates to the generation and storage of even more toxic high level radioactive waste in an area of high seismicity – a situation resulting in high cost and great risk to our safety. The spent fuel pools are packed tightly with irradiated waste waiting to be transferred to the ISFSI, which has space for all the waste that will be generated through 2025. If the plant is to stay open beyond 2025, either the spent fuel pools will remain open at enormous cost, or a new ISFSI will have to be built, a very expensive and environmentally harmful undertaking. No federal or private offsite nuclear waste storage facility is on the horizon to accept Diablo Canyon’s radioactive waste.
Again, Mothers for Peace and Friends of the Earth assert that the proposal to extend operations of Diablo Canyon betrays trust, is wrong, unnecessary, and reckless with both our safety and our money. This plant needs to close as planned by 2024 and 2025.
Comments on Topic 1 were submitted by Mothers for Peace
Topic 1: Land Conservation and Economic Development Plan
Mothers for Peace supports Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel’s very thorough recommendations for the Diablo Canyon lands in A Strategic Vision, last updated in April 2022. We promote conservation of the lands, consistent with current public input and the passage of the DREAM Initiative in 2000. We advocate for managed public access to the greatest extent possible while protecting and preserving the habitat and cultural sites. Mothers for Peace recognizes the request for land ownership by the local Indigenous Peoples and supports that with the caveat that the land be conserved and available to the public for the public good.
Regarding the economic development of the lands, Mothers for Peace rejects any proposals for private development of homes, resorts, or businesses. We are, rather, in favor of providing facilities to promote the common good, i.e. for research on marine sciences, renewable energy technologies, or other educational endeavors.