On November 8, 2017, CPUC Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen issued proposed wording of a decision on PG&E’s Joint Proposal for the retirement of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. This is not a final document, as there is a period of public comment to follow, and a meeting for final Oral Arguments by the Parties at the CPUC on November 28, 2017. Mothers for Peace members and attorney Sabrina Venskus are planning to attend that meeting.
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) looks forward to commenting on the Proposed Decision of Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen and to participating in final oral arguments at the CPUC on November 28th. SLOMFP is represented by attorney Sabrina Venskus.
According to Spokesperson Jane Swanson, “This Proposed Decision has merit in that it places limits on the ability of PG&E to use rate-payer money to bail out the corporation for expenses that the share-holders should be responsible for. But it is disappointing because it fails to implement important measures to protect the environment.”
The Proposed Decision includes the following elements with which SLOMFP is in agreement:
- The Decision recognizes that closure of Diablo Canyon “will not cause adverse impacts on local or system reliability”.
- The Decision supports ratepayer funding of retraining programs for PG&E employees.
- PG&E will be allowed to charge the rate-payers for only $18.6 million for the utility’s expenses invested in license renewal, rather than the $52.688 million PG&E originally requested.
Elements of the Proposed Decision that SLOMFP disagrees with are these:
- The Decision does not address the case for earlier closure presented by SLOMFP, despite expert testimony showing that replacement energy from renewable sources will be abundant by 2020. Advances in batteries of large capacity for energy storage are likewise ignored.
- The case for earlier closure in order to avoid additional years of economic and environmental risk posed by multiple earthquake faults in proximity to the plant is also ignored.
- Additional years of operation will adversely impact the marine environment, as the once-through cooling system at Diablo is responsible for 80% of man-caused kill of life forms along the coast of California.
- The Commission does not take any steps to ensure that replacement energy will come from renewable sources, despite PG&E’s offer to use greenhouse gas free resources. Instead the Proposed Decision kicks the can down the road by assigning that issue to a future CPUC Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) proceeding.