6/21/16 – Responses to the closing of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

6/21/16 – Responses to the closing of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Publish Date: 6/21/2016

By: Sarah Hines

Source: KSBY

Link: http://www.ksby.com/story/32273612/responses-on-the-closing-of-diablo-canyon-nuclear-plant

With the announcement of the closing of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant on Tuesday, officials have been reaching out expressing their comments towards the closure.

“In 2011, I learned that the seismic risk at Diablo Canyon was much more dangerous than we thought, so I applaud PG&E’s decision to cease operations at Diablo Canyon after its license expires in 2025, said California Senator, Barbara Boxer.  “I appreciate that Friends of the Earth will remain focused on the safety issues while the plant is still operating. The news that nuclear power will be replaced by renewables is heartening.”

“During the next eight years, we will heighten our vigilance over safety at the reactors. Our work to safeguard public health and the environment is needed now more than ever, said Linda Steely, a spokesperson for “Mothers for Peace.” “Every day that Diablo Canyon is online, PG&E is playing Russian roulette with the safety of our community.”

California Democratic Party Chairman, John Burton is also praising the decision on the closing of the plant. “The agreement between PG&E, environmental groups, and labor unions to replace the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant with renewable energy sources within the next 10 years shows the power of Democratic action,” Burton said.  “I congratulate PG&E on its decision to phase out California’s last nuclear power plant and do right by Diablo Canyon workers. The plan is historic, and it should be a model for our nation.”

Another person who is in favor of the closure of the plant is State Controller Betty T. Yee, chair of the State Lands Commission. “I applaud PG&E and Friends of the Earth for reaching agreement on a proposal governing the closure of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant at the expiration of its current operating licenses.” said Yee.  “The agreement includes orderly replacement power with a portfolio of greenhouse gas-free energy resources, a commitment to a strong employee retention and severance program, and a significant impact-mitigation program.  While the specific details of these commitments will unfold in the coming months, the agreement provides a solid foundation and may well serve as a responsible model for handling of complex energy transitions.  This agreement provides the State Lands Commission with significant information to consider as we take up the issue of nine-year lease extensions for the offshore infrastructure supporting Diablo Canyon at our next meeting.”

“Today marks an important step in California’s commitment to building a clean energy future that does not compromise the health or safety of our communities,” said California Senate President pro Tempore, Kevin de Leon.  “Nuclear energy is inherently risky, and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters that could threaten the well being of millions of Californians. California’s world class clean energy policies,  will ensure that we replace old sources of power with energy efficiency, wind and solar. This transition will make our energy sources less volatile, more cost-effective, and benefit the air we breathe. I commend PG&E for its cooperation and leadership in moving forward to a more sustainable energy future.”

PG&E announced Tuesday that it will close Diablo Canyon as it phases out its production of nuclear power in California by August 2025, when its current Nuclear Regulatory Committee operating licenses expire. The plant’s operations account for approximately $10 million, or less than 2 percent of the County’s total budget. The closure will likely have a bigger impact on local schools and emergency services that receive a larger portion of their revenue from taxes and funds from the plant.

“People should be concerned about the local impact this plant closure will have on our community,” said County Administrative Officer Dan Buckshi. “The County has been planning for this possibility for many years and will continue to work with the community to mitigate some of the expected economic impacts.”

“The Diablo Canyon Power Plant has been an anchor tenant for the region, as well as a point of controversy over the decades it has been in operation,” said Senate Majority Leader, Bill Monning.  “The agreement by PG&E not to seek license renewal is historic and will have a major impact on the San Luis Obispo region. This action underscores the need for my Senate Bill 968, which calls for an economic assessment to assist the community on how to best address the needs of the plant’s workforce, the public’s safety, and the region’s economic interests. I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to ensure that the transition will be smooth.”

“This historic agreement will usher in a greener, safer future for communities downwind of Diablo Canyon, like those I represent, as well as the entire state,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. “I commend all of the parties who came together to take this bold and important step toward a new energy future for California. While questions still remain about the storage of radioactive spent fuel, today is a cause for great celebration for what the future holds.”

“I applaud the agreement by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., environmental advocates and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to come up with a prudent proposal to shutter California’s last nuclear power plant by 2025,” said State Treasurer, John Chiang. “The decision to replace electricity generated by the Diablo Canyon plant in San Luis Obispo County with renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, is both responsible and visionary.

The commitment to boost investments in energy efficiency programs and large-scale storage with high-tech batteries also complements our state’s legal commitment to produce half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

As treasurer, I chair a number of special boards that provide innovative funding for energy efficiency, pollution control and other environmental programs. I stand ready to continue making those resources available as California transitions away from nuclear power.”

“For the past 30 years, PG&E and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant have been important partners in our local community, providing a significant portion of our energy and serving as the largest private employer in San Luis Obispo County,” said Representative Lois Apps. “In light of today’s announcement, I am pleased to hear that they have been working with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from both the labor community and environmental interests, to ensure a responsible transition. In particular, I appreciate PG&E’s focus on ensuring that their employees, the County, and our region’s energy needs will be provided for during this transition away from nuclear power.
PG&E’s decision highlights the shift in our nation’s energy landscape — one that is moving more and more toward a clean, renewable energy future. The Plant’s shutdown plan recognizes California’s move towards a modern, renewable energy economy by calling for increased development and expansion of locally provided clean energy alternatives. These investments will ensure the Central Coast continues to be a leader in the green energy economy. But this is just the beginning of a long process, and my office will be closely monitoring the transition with Diablo Canyon, as well as its employees and local environmental groups, as this plan moves forward.”

“The future closure of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is shocking news and marks the loss of an employer that contributes an economic impact of over $1 billion to our local economy, touching nearly every aspect of our community,” said President and CEO of VVitality Coroporation of San Luis Obispo County, Mike Manchak. “It will take strong collaboration between private and public sectors to develop strategies aimed at mitigating the loss of significant tax revenue to San Luis Obispo County and our local schools, as well as the thousands of jobs that are spread throughout our region.”

In a press release from Lutient Governor Newsom Rochelle Becker realeased a statement saying, “We laud PG&E for acknowledging the inevitable changes in the way we make and use energy in our state,” Becker said. “Parts of this proposal usher in a bold new paradigm for the state’s energy future, but for those of us in San Luis Obispo, the proposal also provides an orderly path to phase out the reactors. After the sudden and chaotic closure of the San Onofre facility – and others around the country – it became clear that a more comprehensive and responsible approach was needed, one that would support the former host communities.”

In a release given by the Nuclear Energy website, President and CEO, Marvin Fertel says nuclear energy is vital. “In other states, energy companies have extended the operation of 80 reactors as a strategic measure to retain reliable, carbon-free electricity,” Fertel said. “Nuclear energy is a vital part of a balanced energy portfolio that lowers the cost of generating electricity by more than $93 billion per year compared to an energy portfolio limited to renewables and natural gas, according to a study by IHS Energy.- Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

PG&E announced Tuesday morning that Diablo Canyon Power Plant, California’s last remaining nuclear power plant, will shut down by 2025.

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