2003 Newsletter

Mothers for Peace is involved in seven legal proceedings.

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Mothers For Peace Monthly Update

Currently the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace is actively involved in seven legal proceedings before a variety of agencies: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the County, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board. In addition, we are working on outreach throughout California and the nation. We have garnered support from the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the Attorney General, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Congresswoman Capps. We are working with reactor communities across the United States and nuclear watchdog groups such as Public Citizen, Nuclear Resource Information Service, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Citizen Awareness Network.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

On July 15, 2003, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a public hearing on environmental impacts of renewing nuclear power plant licenses for an additional 20 years. The Mothers for Peace will attend and provide comments.

An action letter is available for easy comment submittals on our website. All comments are due September 2, 2003.

The licensing board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission admitted one issue for full hearings regarding financial qualifications of PG&E. The Board denied full hearings on issues of seismic adequacy, transportation, license renewal, and terrorism. The Mothers for Peace will be filing an appeal in federal court on the terrorism issue later this year. This appeal is estimated to cost $100,000. Depending on our ability to raise money, we will consider appealing denial of full hearings on all issues.

Freedom of information requests have been jointly filed by the Mothers for Peace and the Union of Concerned Scientists to the NRC regarding its new policy on terrorism. We have asked for disclosure of the "stakeholders" the NRC met with to create this new policy.

The Mothers for Peace also joined Public Citizen in an appeal to the D.C. court of appeals - again relating to the new NRC policy on terrorism at nuclear plants.

California Public Utilities Commission

The Mothers for Peace has filed a Petition with the Commission to reorganize the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee. We have asked that PG&E be removed from the nomination process, that a qualified public member of our community be added to the Committee, that the office currently located in Morro Bay be relocated to San Luis Obispo, and that the Safety Committee's meeting be video recorded for additional public outreach.

The Mothers for Peace also cross-examined PG&E witnesses in its current General Rate Case on safety implications of its forecasts for the high-level radioactive waste facility, new security requirements, and possible license renewal.

Regional Water Quality Control Board

The Regional Water Quality Control Board will be holding a public hearing on July 10th regarding the renewal of PG&E's water discharge permit for Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. The Mothers for Peace, California Earth Corps, and Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo have filed as joint parties in this procedure. The environmental findings in this case have been well documented: thermal (heat) discharges from the plant are causing degradation of the marine environment, and entrainment (death) of fish larvae is significant. The Regional Water Quality Control Board has conditionally agreed to accept the continuation of environmental impacts in exchange for a narrow piece of property and some money ("Consent Judgment"). The Mothers for Peace is opposed to this proposed settlement because:

  • it allows PG&E to rescind the Conservation Easement at its discretion if new environmental requirements should be placed on the company at any time in the future,
  • it "resolves" issued regarding entrainment, impingement, and thermal discharge over its operating life, thus excusing future negative environmental impacts and binding future Boards,
  • it reduces onsite environmental monitoring;
  • PG&E remains in bankruptcy with financial and ownership uncertainty.

Members of the public may provide oral comments on the permit at the hearing on Thursday, July 10, beginning at 8:30am, 895 Aerovista Place, Suite 101, San Luis Obispo. Comments will be limited to three minutes per speaker.

County of San Luis Obispo

The Mothers for Peace filed comments in both public meetings held by the SLO County Planning Department. We meet regularly with the staff member in charge and will file comments on the draft Environmental Impact Report in late summer or early fall.