San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace opposes Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) application for 20-year operating license extensions for Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2, with current licenses due to expire in 2024 and 2025.
The Diablo Canyon facility includes two nuclear reactors and the storage of all the high-level radioactive wastes generated by those reactors since 1984. Currently, most of the used fuel (which is much more radioactive than the fuel in the reactors) is stored in over-crowded pools.
In 2010, Mothers for Peace won a hearing before the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on the question of whether PG&E had given adequate consideration to the earthquake risks posed by the recently-discovered Shoreline Fault in its program for mitigation of severe accident impacts. The NRC has tentatively scheduled evidentiary hearings on the seismic contention for some time in 2016.
In April of 2015 Mothers for Peace attorney Diane Curran filed new legal arguments with the NRC, referred to as contentions, in response to several updated PG&E reports to the NRC on environmental and seismic issues.
In two new environmental contentions Mothers for Peace charged that PG&E had skewed a new analysis of energy alternatives to ignore or reject a wide range of renewable energy options available to replace the power generated by Diablo Canyon. Mothers for Peace contends that the NRC has no justification for renewing PG&E’s license in light of the wide availability of renewables that are cheaper and safer than running Diablo Canyon another 20 years.
PG&E also fails to take into account the dramatic reduction in cost of renewable technologies and efficiency improvements in recent years.
Linda Seeley, spokeswoman for SLOMFP, summarizes that “PG&E should go back to the drawing board and provide an up-to-date comparison of the costs and environmental risks of continuing to operate Diablo Canyon versus adopting renewables and demand and supply management.” She called Diablo Canyon a “dangerous dinosaur” that should be retired.
Mothers for Peace’s new seismic contentions assert that PG&E has failed to comply with environmental laws requiring it to propose measures to lessen the impacts of severe Fukushima-like earthquakes and floods at Diablo Canyon. PG&E has understated severe earthquakes risks. In addition, its program for protecting against severe flooding events is also weak because it ignores PG&E’s own post-Fukushima study showing that heavy rainstorms may flood safety equipment.
For details on these and prior legal actions to stop license renewal for Diablo Canyon, go to http://mothersforpeace.org/collections/license-renewal/collections/license-renewal