Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

by on June 22, 2016 · 0 comments

in California, Culture, Energy, Environment, Health, History, Politics, San Diego, World News

Diablo Canyon Power Plant

Diablo Canyon Power Plant

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists –  California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines.  Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

California is the world’s sixth largest economy, and it was among the first states to embrace nuclear energy in the 1950s. Diablo Canyon began operating in 1985 and stirred controversy from the start.

Citizens Oppose High Level Nuke Dump At San Onofre

On June 12 San Clemente Green reported on a public meeting where people spoke out against the siting of a high level radioactive waste dump at the closed down San Onofre nuclear plant in Orange County in Southern California.

San Clemente Green is an environmental group that played a key role in San Onofre’s 2013 shutdown, which followed years of gross mismanagement and outrageous lies by the plant’s principal owner, Southern California Edison.

Now Edison wants to bury huge amounts of highly dangerous nuclear waste in the bluffs above San Onofre State Beach, which was immortalized, along with other rad surfing spots, in the Beach Boys’ hit song “Surfing USA.”

The California Coastal Commission approved Edison’s proposal to turn the beach into a gigantic high level nuke dump in October 2015.

The San Clemente Green report followed a June 8 meeting at City Hall in Laguna Beach, a nearby municipality. What follows is the summary of coverage of this event by local media.

San Diego CBS TV: Rita Conn, Coordinator of Secure Nuclear Waste, talks about “bombs in our back yard.”

Donna Gilbert of San Onofre Safety says:

“each half inch thick steel canister contains more waste than was released by the Chernobyl accident. There are 50 0f these canisters on site with 100 more to come.”

Marni Magda, concerned citizen from Laguna Beach says –

“Whether it is mother nature, human error or terrorism, we are only one step away from a major disaster.”

Orange County Register:

“Panelists told more than 200 people in a packed Laguna Beach City Council chambers that plans by Southern California Edison to bury millions of pounds of nuclear waste 42 yards from the ocean at San Onofre State Beach must be stopped.”

San Clemente Times and Dana Point Times: San Capistrano Mayor Pam Petersen, who is part of Edison’s Community Engagement Panel, said:

“The CEP has misled the public on matters of security regarding terrorism threats. The management is as scary as the situation they’ve created.”

San Diego Union-Tribune:

“Critics say the plan does not allow for monitoring the canisters for future degradation or leaks and presents a health threat to millions of people who live and travel through the region. They say regulators should be doing a better job mitigating the longterm threat.”

More than 10 milion people live within a 50 mile radius of San Onofre.

Sources: San Clemente Greens, sanclementegreen.org; Secure Nuclear Waste, securenuclearwaste.com.

Two More Old Nuke Plants To Shut Down

On June 2, Illinois TV station KWQC reported that the Windy City’s Exelon Corporation, which owns the most nuclear plants in the US, will be shutting down two plants in Illinois in two years.

“Exelon announced today,” KWQC reported, “it will move forward to shut down its Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants, citing lack of progress in energy legislation.”

These nuke plants had been money losers for years, so Exelon had been putting pressure on state legislators to bail it out and stick taxpayers with the tab, a strategy that failed miserably.

“This is an extremely difficult day,” the TV station reported Exelon CEO Chis Cane saying, “for the 1500 employees who operate the plants safely and reliably every day, and for the communities that depend on them for support. We are forced to close the plants.”

Quad Cities two reactors started up in 1973, making them over 40 years old. Clinton began in 1987.

Contrary to the Exelon CEO’s statement, the plants were plagued with cost overruns, extended shutdowns, some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, and a host of chronic safety problems. Permanent shutdown is scheduled for June 1, 2018.

Source:KWQC, kwqc.com

Protests Calling For the Indian Point Nuclear Plant To Shut Down Growing

On June 8, New York state publication The Journal News ran its story “Protestors For Shutdown of Indian Point.”

Indian Point is another ancient nuke plant, run by Entergy Corporation of New Orleans, the second largest owner of nuclear plants in the US. Indian Point consists of three reactors, one long since permanently closed, the other two still cranking even though their operating licenses have expired, with the approval of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Indian Point is located 35 miles up the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan.

Now furor is growing at the NRC’s granting of permission for new gas pipelines to run near Indian Point, as well as through surrounding communities.

The Journal news reported on a recent public meeting in Tarrytown, NY, to discuss this matter.

“The NRC stated that Indian Point could shut down in time if a gas line under construction nearby ruptured,” according to the Journal News.

“Judy Allen of Putnam Valley wasn’t buying it,” the paper reported. “You no longer have any credibility,” she told the NRC. ‘You have become a lapdog of Entergy. Putting a 43 inch gas line near Indian Point is pure insanity, I wish I had enough money in my piggybank to sue you.”

The Journal News also reported:

“Workers representing Entergy wore t-shirts reading ‘Indian Point Powers New York,” while “nearby residents who live near Indian Point held up signs that read ‘Stop the Algonquin Pipeline.’

“Like Allen, they oppose the decision by the NRC to approve a plan by Spectrum Energy, touching several communities bordering Indian Point, to expand a natural gas pipeline that runs north from Pennsylvania to New England.

“The decision has led to protests along the pipeline route. Two protestors were arrested after they locked themselves in an environmentally-friendly shipping container outside a construction site in Peekskill.”

The Journal News also reported that local legislator Alden Wolfe remarked, ”We don’t exaggerate when we refer to Indian Point as a ticking time bomb.”

In addition the Journal News reported,”On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo renewed his call for Indian Point’s shutdown:

‘Indian Point is the nuclear plant closest to the most densely populated area on the globe. It has had a series of mishaps. We know we can find replacement power. Why would you want to allow it to operate defies common sense and basic sanity.’”

Source: The Journal News, journalnews.org

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