2004 September Newsletter

Four legal cases pending: District of Columbia Court of Appeals, California Public Utilities Commission, California Coastal Commission, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

September 7, 2004

Dear Friends,

You are concerned about safety at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and there are now numerous opportunities to support the work of the Mothers for Peace.  Four legal cases are currently pending – all questioning and challenging the status quo.  Two of these cases have the potential to limit the amount of high level radioactive waste stored at Diablo Canyon.  One case could force the closure of the plant by 2014 and possibly replace it with an environmentally friendly energy source.

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Public Citizen and the Mothers for Peace filed jointly in this case which challenges the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to license a new high level radioactive waste facility at Diablo Canyon without holding a hearing on security upgrades.  This case will be heard beginning September 10th , 2004.

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

The case before the CPUC is in response to PG&E’s request to replace the degraded steam generators at Diablo Canyon – and pass the enormous costs onto the ratepayers! The installation of new steam generators could potentially extend the operation of the plant another generation.  Joining us in this appeal is Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Environment California.  These organizations find numerous deficiencies in PG&E’s cost-benefit analysis.  PG&E has not considered the true costs of extending the operating life of the plant.  Some of these costs include replacement of other aging components, storage of high level radioactive waste, and the likely increases in security measures and seismic retrofits.  Hearings begin on September 20th , 2004.  Funds must be raised to help pay the work and travel costs of our attorney and expert witnesses.


California Coastal Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved PG&E’s plan to extend the high level radioactive waste at Diablo Canyon by constructing an installation utilizing a dry cask system.  The only oversight given to San Luis Obispo County was the authorization to pour the cement pads.  The Board of Supervisors has given this approval, thus the Mothers for Peace has filed an appeal with the Coastal Commission.  This hearing is expected to be held in mid November of 2004.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

The Mothers for Peace and the Sierra Club filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit challenging the NRC’s decision approving construction of the proposed high level radioactive waste facility (mentioned above) at Diablo Canyon.  The NRC refused to hold hearings on seismic and security concerns, and the Mothers for Peace and Sierra Club intend to force them to do so.  We do not yet have a hearing date for that case.  $87,000 of the $100,000 needed for this crucial litigation has already been raised.


We have raised a large amount of money in recent months, but our expenses continue to grow with the demands of these cases.  The Mothers for Peace asks for your assistance in gathering financial support.  Please forward this message to others who share our interest in raising the safety standards at Diablo Canyon. Visit www.mothersforpeace.org for more information (credit card donations accepted), or call (805)773-3881.



Jill ZamEk