Take Action Now! Information and Fukushima Flyers

To become informed on the history of the March 2011 Fukushima disaster and spreading radiation, go to the archives of  ENE News at

https://web.archive.org/web/20181019142635/http://enenews.com/

For a timeline of wildlife and ocean impacts through 2015

Click to access fukushima-pacific-ocean-chronology-ene-docs.pdf

Flyers
These flyers from Fukushima Response can be printed on colored paper (like pale yellow) for greater visibility. Distribute everywhere.

Fukushima Response flyer, p.1
Fukushima Response flyer, p.2

This situation continues to be an emergency, with increasing radioactive contamination of air, sea, water sources, and land. A news media blackout prevents vital news updates. Many actions are needed to alert the public to this active situation and solve the growing radiation which is harming all life worldwide

Get informed!

Get the word out!

Take action!

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— Humboldt Bay problems continue; PG&E retaliates against decommissioning expert

The story of Humboldt Bay Nuclear Plant is an expose of PG&E and an expose of nuclear regulation. It’s happening now. Its dangers and warnings are critical for the public to heed.

OSHA & The Cover-up At The PG&E Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Station

Darrell Whitman who was a Federal OSHA investigator and lawyer discusses his investigation at the PG&E nuclear power plant at Humboldt Bay in Northern California. Whitman reports on how OSHA officials refused to defend the whistleblowers and instead allowed them to be retaliated against. Whitman who also became a whistleblower was terminated by top OSHA officials on May 5, 2015 He and his union AFGE Local 2371 are fighting against this retaliation. He was also a shop steward for his AFGE local and many other AFGE workers are being bullied and terrorized by OSHA management for doing their jobs. This interview was done in February 2015.

Unofficial transcript:

My name is Darrell Whitman and I’m at the moment at least an investigator with the US Department of Labor OSHA’s whistleblower protection program here in San Francisco.

As an investigator we are again we handle 22 statutes that are supposed to provide whistleblower protection to everyone from the maid in the hotel to high-level corporate officials who are reporting fraud in corporate fraud and a lot of very technical complaints people as I had and we’ve talked about this before.

I had a high-level official very, very experienced, very highly regarded in the industry who was the safety manager at a major nuclear plant, and he blew the whistle and it was a pretty ugly story.after that,

This was the Humboldt Bay a power plant and this fellow, basically he had come from the Midwest and his expertise was he was in nuclear security, but he also helped Senator Lieberman draft the protocols for decommissioning plants. And so he was he was more than just an expert. He was a very high-value person. And he wanted to apply this new knowledge. So when the opportunity was given to him to come out to Humboldt Bay to the nuclear plant, it was going to be the first nuclear plant actually decommissioned where they were gonna apply the protocols that he had worked on with the Senate, yeah he was very excited about it.

He didn’t know a lot about California. He didn’t know a lot about PG&E. The irony was he came to California thinking, now he’s from Nebraska, he’s a surfer, he had gotten into being a surfer from his early on, and had gone to the Gulf Coast and of course, he heard the best surfing in the country was in California. So in his mind, he was going to be going to a plant that was right on the ocean. So it’s gonna be perfect opportunity to do surfing.

Well, when he got there, he discovered a lot of things. Among other things, he discovered very early on was, the security staff was completely unprepared to do the job. When he actually started vetting them as far as testing their skill levels and their preparation, half of them he had to fire. He had, and nothing against older people, he had a seventy eight year old security guard who could not do a push-up. This is not a good thing. His security guards have to be physically capable of putting, you know. of doing the job. Then shortly after that, he began to discover other things about the culture of the region. You know, we’re talking Humboldt, and he didn’t realize coming from Nebraska what it means to be living in the Green Triangle. So he discovered that there was an awful lot of drug dealing and drug use going on including people in the plant operating centers.

And that of course was – what’s his issue? He’s a security director

So what he also didn’t understand was when PG&E got the agreement with the local area to build the plant in the first place, they had sort of cut a backroom deal which was to employ locals. You know, this is a tricky this is a thing you see commonly with a lot of plants and particularly ones that are potentially dangerous that

They bribe people.

That’s and as a form of bribery will get, will create 500 jobs in your neighborhood. And for a small area in a fairly remote area — Eureka I think has maybe thirty five thousand people — this was a big deal. So people were willing, at least the officials were willing, to overlook the questions because they were going to get jobs.

On the other hand, PG&E was not discriminating in regard to who was getting the jobs. So you were drawing a large portion of the plant operators and not so much the technical operators but the people who were the security people, people who were performing lower-level kinds of jobs coming from the local community, and this is the green traffic, so it was problematic arrangement, let’s put it that way. But among other things he discovered very early on, was that the plant and misplaced fuel rods. They couldn’t account for all the fuel rods. You know, it was just kind of a litany of things like this

Continue reading

— Nuclear accident at PG&E’s Humboldt Bay Nuclear Plant? Whistleblower presents the evidence and shocking history

The story of Humboldt Bay Nuclear Plant is an expose of PG&E and an expose of nuclear regulation. It’s happening now. Its dangers and warnings are critical for the public to heed.


Was there an accident at Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant?

In 1970, a power outage caused the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant to malfunction. Using historic sources, we investigate whether this resulted in a leak of radioactive gases.

Unofficial transcript based on auto-transcript:

My name is Scott Rainsford .I was born in Iowa. I was a marine science technician in the United States Coast Guard initially four years active duty, followed by another 14 roughly years of Coast Guard Reserve when I came up here. As a marine science technician, my commanding officer in the Coast Guard Reserve sent me to the PG&E nuclear power plant in the year 1978 to see if I could update their contingency plan.

I went to the plant, I read their contingency plan, and after i had thoroughly read it i asked if they ever had a chance to use it. They replied, Well. as a matter of fact, yes we have.”

They brought out this report marked “confidential.”

When a nuclear plant is operating, there is a person in charge called a nuclear operator and he keeps a log of every important fact or issue that happens during his watch. There’s a time annotation and then what happened.

The report described an accident that happened on July 17, 1970. It just so happened that a man named Shiffer was there, and he was one of PG&E’s best and brightest. He was a senior nuclear operator. So seeing this crisis developed, he took command of the reactor. So the log that i was reading was his operational log.

This report described the following:

A maintenance crew from PG&E went to a local substation at an area called Mitchell Height, and they were going to do some maintenance on a high tension line. They believed that this high tension line was dead. Because of that, the maintenance crew opened an air circuit breaker. The result was a fireball which melted and damaged the whole circuit. That 60 000 volts was supplying outside power to PG&E’s unit number three.

The nuclear power plant when they lose outside power, down goes the feed water pumps that feed coolant water into the reactor. So we have an issue of overheating the core.

The next in line during this initial start of the emergency was a propane generator. Problem with this propane generator was that it did not provide enough power to supply the feed water pumps which would keep the reactor cool, and it also did not supply all the power necessary to run the instrumentation that the nuclear control operator needed to understand what was happening to the reactor so he had no idea how much coolant remained. So now, the nuclear operator is operating blind.

There were three units. The first two units were petroleum-based. The third unit was the only nuclear plant. When the nuclear plant is running, one of the other two units must be in operation and that is so that if the nuclear unit lost outside power, the other operating unit could supply emergency outside power to the nuclear unit. It failed because several months before, another maintenance crew had disconnected a cable in the switch yard and therefore, could not complete the circuit. The second major part of the fail-safe system failed. That piece of equipment was called an emergency condenser. What that is a compartment partially filled with water that functions similar to a car radiator. A valve that automatically is supposed to open from the reactor taking this out of specification pressure in the form of steam. It runs through a series of baffles in this emergency condenser which is partially filled with water. The steam is cooled, condensed back into water, and put back into the reactor core to keep it cool. The emergency condenser failed, because a valve would not open.

Continue reading

— Former Humboldt Bay nuclear plant technician talks about PG&E’s safety problems and retaliation against employees

The story of Humboldt Bay Nuclear Plant is an expose of PG&E and an expose of nuclear regulation. It’s happening now. Its dangers and warnings are critical for the public to heed.

Shut It Down Now! Former Humboldt PG&E IBEW 1245 Nuclear Plant Technician Bob Rowen On Nuclear Power

Bob Rowen was a Humboldt PG&E IBEW 1245 nuclear control technician at the power plant. He talks about being a control technician at the plant and what happened when he began to stand up for health and safety as a whistleblower. His fight to protect the workers and the community cost him his job when he raised health and safety concerns and he along with another nuclear control technician Forrest Williams were retaliated against and illegally terminated. He also recounts an effort to set up a criminal conspiracy frame-up by PG&E to charge him with planning to blow up the plant and a false document was sent to the FBI to blacklist him throughout the country to prevent him from working in any other nuclear plant in the US. He also reports on the role of his union IBEW 1245 and the media when a reporter from NBC Donald Widener tried to cover the story and was retaliated against by PG&E in actions that destroyed his career. He also discusses the case of PG&E Diablo Canyon nuclear plant whistleblower Neil Aiken. Aiken went to PG&E’s Board of Directors with his concerns over safety and was also targeted and fired. This interview was done on January 26, 2015. Rowen has written a book about his struggle called My Humboldt Diary: A True Story of Betrayal of the Public Trust, Nuclear Power at Humboldt Bay. For more information http://www.myhumboldtdiary.com

Production of Labor Video Project http://www.laborvideo.org

Unofficial transcript:

My name is Bob Rowen. I became a nuclear control technician at the Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant in Eureka. The plant went online in 1963, in August of 63, and I showed up in March of 1964.

My first job at the plant was apprentice instrument repairman, but within six months I entered the nuclear control technician training program. journeymanprogram in the PG&E system, I became a nuclear control technician.

I thought that I had found a career of a lifetime. When I got out of the Marines and went to work there and thought I was on the ground floor of a program that in an industry that was going to be second to none, but as I got into it, I found that it was not what it was all cracked up to be.

How long was the training program?

42 months. It was a very rigorous training program that requires a lot of hours on the weekends and at night learning all the things that we had to learn as well as classroom work during the day.

And so what happened when you started working there?

Well I I became involved in and developed a special interest in radiation protection.

The nuclear control technician program in those days consisted of actually three elements: nuclear instrumentation, radiation protection, and radio chemistry. What I was particularly concerned about the radiation protection aspect of the job, and so when I started studying all of the training materials that PG&E had provided, I found that they were not in agreement with what I had learned in the military.

I was a Marine Pathfinder and I trained in ABC warfare – atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. And the atomic part of that talked about the kinds of hazards associated with radiation that did not agree one bit with what PG&E was providing us. So I started asking some embarrassing questions. At first they weren’t necessarily challenging plant management but their responses led me to a confrontation with the management because I felt that I was being lied to

[unintelligible]

At one point, yes, because I believed in corporate America and I believed in the government. I thought the AEC would do everything that they were charged with in terms of their responsibilities of protecting employees and the general public. But it turns out that that wasn’t the case at all.

So you began asking questions And what happened?

Well, eventually I was told that if I was looking for trouble, I was going to find it. The plant engineer made that very clear to me and I told him, my response was, I’m not going to be bullied. I still had a lot of Marine in me in my mid-20s, and I just said, I’m not going to kowtow to you. I won’t do that.

Eventually I found myself faced with having to, well, for example I was ordered to sign false shipping documents. The spent-fuel shipping cask — and it’s a long story; it’s in my book; it spells out exactly what took place — but the shipping cask ended up with several? contaminations exceeding DOT regs, and the release papers that had my name pre-typed on as a nuclear control technician, and I said I’m not signing those papers because they’re false. And I was ordered to do it. So I signed them under protest. And then I put it in the radiation control log exactly what had taken place, and I had another serious set-to with the plant engineer. And that’s just one example of many things that happen.

Continue reading

— January 26 and 31: PG&E decommissioning public hearings on Diablo Canyon and Humboldt Bay

In-person and remote comment hearings

Public Forum on PG&E’s 2021 Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial Proceeding — Humboldt Bay and Diablo Canyon
Proceeding A.21-12-007

January 26, 6 PM — remote access

January 31, 6 PM — in-person

From California Public Utilties Commission

The CPUC will hold a remote public forum on January 26 and 31, 2023 at 6 p.m. to provide an opportunity to offer comment about PG&E’s requests related to the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and Humboldt Bay Power Plant Unit.

REMOTE ACCESS OPTIONS: January 26, 6 pm

  • English Phone: 800-857-1917, passcode: 1767567#
    • Participants will have audio in English and will be able to make comments. (After entering the passcode, if you plan to make a comment, when prompted press *1, unmute your phone, and record your name.)
    • Wait times depend on the number of speakers in the public comment queue. During times of high call volumes, wait times will be longer. The operator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.
  • Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to participate via webcast will only have audio and video capabilities but will not be able to make verbal comments. If you would like to make a comment during the meeting, the phone-in information is below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the workshop, click the green button at the bottom of the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The forums will also be recorded and archived for future viewing.

IN-PERSON LOCATION: January 31, 6 pm

San Luis Obispo County Chambers
1055 Monterey Street, Room D170
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

If you wish to make a public comment, sign up at the Public Advisor’s Office’s table.

If special accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll-free at 866-849-8390 at least five business days in advance of the public forums.

You can also make your voice heard in this proceeding, and read the comments of others, on our online Docket Card comment section for the proceeding at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/A2112007.

https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/events-and-meetings/a2112007-pph-2023-01-26

https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/events-and-meetings/a2112007-pph-2023-01-31

— Reminder: January 10, Remote access public hearing on San Onofre decommissioning, A.22-02-016

This Public Participation Hearing will be remote access only and is for taking public comment by phone only.

Call in early to get in line. Phone comments will be taken in order

From the California Public Utilities Commission

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a remote public forum to provide an opportunity to offer comment about Southern California Edison’s (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) requests related to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), as follows:

WHEN: January 10, 2023, 5 p.m PT

WHERE: Remote access via webcast or phone:

  • Listen and comment English Phone: 800-857-1917, passcode: 1767567#
    • Participants will have audio in English and will be able to make comments. (To make a comment, after entering the passcode, when prompted press *1, unmute your phone (*6), and record your name.)
    • Wait times depend on the number of speakers in the public comment queue. During times of high call volumes, wait times will be longer. The operator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.
  • View only — Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to participate via webcast will only have audio and video capabilities but will not be able to make verbal comments. If you would like to make a comment during the meeting, the phone-in information is below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the workshop, click the green button at the bottom of the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The forums will also be recorded and archived for future viewing.

You can also make your voice heard in this proceeding, and read the comments of others, on our online Docket Card comment section for the proceeding at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/A2202016.

The public forum (also formally known as a Public Participation Hearing) will not have in-person attendance. Members of the public can view the public forum via the Internet or listen. Those who would like to make public comment must participate by telephone and make comment through the toll-free phone line.

WHAT: The public forum will begin with a brief overview by SCE and SDG&E explaining its updated nuclear decommissioning cost activities for the Palo Verde and SONGS nuclear power plants. Public comments will be taken live by phone. At least one representative from SCE and SDG&E will be present throughout the forum to answer questions.

BACKGROUND: On February 28, 2022, SCE and SDG&E submitted an application for their Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial review to the CPUC requesting approval for cost recovery related to Palo Verde and SONGS nuclear power plants that were completed during January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020, and for undistributed decommissioning expenditures incurred during the same period. SDG&E owns a minority share of SONGS.

The CPUC welcomes attendance and comments on SCE and SDG&E’s request at the public forum, as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision. The Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceeding is scheduled to issue a Proposed Decision in the case for consideration by the Commission within a year.

While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend the remote public forum, no official action will be taken on this matter.

If special accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll-free at 866-849-8390 at least three business days in advance of the public forum.

Further information on public forum is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov/pph.

Documents related to this proceeding are available at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/A2202016.

— EWG: PG&E reports nuclear reactor welding leak at Diablo Canyon facility

From Environmental Working Group

January 5, 2023

PG&E reports nuclear reactor welding leak at Diablo Canyon facility

EWG: Critical questions about coolant system damage go unanswered

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas & Electric found damage to part of a reactor cooling system at the aging Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California, but it hasn’t yet answered key questions about the extent of the problem.

PG&E is the owner of the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant, and found the fault with the reactor coolant system during a routine inspection in October. PG&E detailed the damage in a report[1] to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, in December.

The power company says the system had a crack in the welding of the wall of Diablo Canyon’s Unit 2 reactor, which was shut down for refueling. PG&E says the presumed cause was fatigue, which was caused by vibrations at the facility indicating a weld defect. The utility says the damage meant the unit fell short of NRC operating requirements.

PG&E says it repaired the leak, and the public and plant workers were never at risk. But the utility’s filing with the commission raises several questions, including:

  • When was the affected weld last inspected?
  • When does PG&E believe the crack in the weld formed?
  • Why had the weld flaw not been identified?
  • What was the size of the leak when it occurred?  

“The communities near Diablo Canyon deserve to know the full details of the incident, how it happened, why it wasn’t discovered earlier and how long it took for PG&E to identify the damage to the reactor coolant system,” said Environmental Working Group President and California resident Ken Cook

“The main reason for shuttering this aging facility is the potential threat it poses to the public – and PG&E’s overall safety record across its vast service area in the state is among the worst of any power company in the country,” Cook said.

Diablo Canyon’s latest problem highlights ongoing concerns about the stability of the facility and shows why EWG and others are pushing to shut the plant down. 

Yet state and federal officials are trying to keep the aging facility operating beyond 2025, when it’s slated to shutter under the terms of a settlement carefully negotiated between PG&E, California and environmentalists.

Last September, at the urging of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state legislature approved Senate Bill 846, a law that will keep the plant operating for five more years, until 2030. It will also give PG&E a $1.4 billion loan to cover costs during that extra time.

In November, the Biden administration announced it will give PG&E more than $1 billion in federal funding to keep the plant operating past its scheduled 2025 closure date.

PG&E has also petitioned the NRC to fast-track its October 31 request to extend the license of the twin Diablo Canyon reactors. Four environmental organizations, led by San Luis Obispo-based Mothers for Peace, or SLOMFP, have sent letters to the NRC warning it would violate federal law if it accepts the proposal. The other groups that signed the letters are EWG, Friends of the Earth and Committee to Bridge the Gap.

“PG&E cannot have it both ways,” claimed SLOMFP Board President Jane Swanson. “PG&E stopped preparing the reactors for continued operation in 2016 and voided their license renewal. The company has spent the past six years preparing to mothball the reactors and has saved money by not investing in future operations. It is too late to get a license renewal before the plant must shut down.”

###

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy, and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/2023/01/pge-reports-nuclear-reactor-welding-leak-diablo-canyon-facility

[1] nrc[dot]gov/docs/ML2235/ML22355A081.pdf

— PG&E asks to fast-track NRC safety requirements — Organizations respond with a second letter to NRC

From Mothers for Peace SLO

On December 6, 2022, in their second letter to the Commissioners of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) within the space of three weeks, four environmental organizations once again put the NRC on notice that the agency would violate federal law if it accepted Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E’s) October 31 proposal to resurrect and fast-track its review of PG&E’s long-abandoned 2009 license renewal application for the twin Diablo Canyon reactors. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOFMP), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Environmental Working Group (EWG), and Committee to Bridge the Gap (CBG) warned that PG&E’s proposal runs afoul of the NRC’s safety requirements and procedures and would violate the federal National Environmental Policy Act.

The NRC terminated the Diablo Canyon license renewal proceeding in 2018 when PG&E decided to close the reactors in 2024 and 2025. “PG&E cannot have it both ways,” claimed SLOMFP Board President Jane Swanson. “PG&E stopped preparing the reactors for continued operation in 2016 and asked the NRC to terminate the license renewal proceeding. The company has spent the past six years preparing to mothball the reactors and has saved money by not investing in future operations. They can’t reverse course and revive a license renewal application that was declared dead years ago at their own request.”

Last September, the California Legislature passed SB 846 to provide PG&E with economic incentives to request a five-year extension of Diablo Canyon’s license from the NRC. “With years of extended operations on the table for this outdated and potentially deadly nuclear facility, it is crucial that we cut zero corners,” said FOE Legal Director Hallie Templeton. “The California legislature has not provided PG&E carte blanche to seek exemptions and streamline relicensing. If it intends to continue operating Diablo, PG&E should be required to file an entirely new and up-to-date license renewal application, which the NRC must thoroughly analyze by the full letter of the law before reaching a decision.” 

The organizations also noted that PG&E had no legal basis for its request to exempt it from important federal regulations requiring an environmental analysis before the NRC can allow the reactors to operate beyond their current license terms.

“The last time the NRC did an environmental review for operation of the Diablo Canyon reactors was 1993,” said Ken Cook, EWG’s President and Co-founder. “Given the potentially extreme impacts and risks of continuing to operate Diablo Canyon, it would be both illegal and sheer folly to proceed with extended operation in the absence of a thorough and up-to-date Environmental Impact Statement.”

Dan Hirsch, spokesperson for CBG, commented, “PG&E’s request to be exempted from regulatory requirements for Diablo Canyon is very dangerous. If the requested exemption were granted, Diablo could keep running, potentially for many years, while the critical issues of whether it is safe to do so are not yet resolved. This creates the potential for an accident and massive radiation release to occur after license expiration and before a renewal decision could be made on those vital safety issues. It is the proverbial nuclear version of shooting first and asking questions later.”

These groups, which submitted their first letter to the NRC on November 17, pledged to continue their efforts to ensure that any license renewal application filed with the NRC by PG&E is reviewed with all the rigor required by federal safety and environmental laws.

Organizations 12.6.2022 letter to the NRC

Organizations 11.17.2022 letter to the NRC

https://mothersforpeace.org/organizations-send-a-second-letter-to-the-nrc/

— December 14, 2022, Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel meeting

The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel (DCDEP) hosted an informational online webinar on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 to update the community on the status and proposed schedule for the continued operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) and implications on decommissioning activities, such as, repurposing, land use, and environmental permitting.  The online meeting included presentations by PG&E, the California Energy Commission and the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.  Members of the community submitted questions and concerns prior to the meeting.  In preparation for the meeting, PG&E prepared a brief summary of SB 846 and the status of activities relating to the extended operation of DCPP.diablocanyonpanel(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/SB-846-PGE-Summary-11_23_22.pdf

View meeting agenda, meeting recording and presentation materials —
diablocanyonpanel(dot)org/2022-panel-meetings/#12-14-22-panel-mtg

– – – –

From Mothers for Peace SLO prior to the meeting —

Topics include: review of SB 846 funding and accelerated permitting provisions to allow for extended operations; actions already taken by PG&E; the role of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee; the role of the Diablo Canyon Independent Peer Review Panel to address seismic issues; and implications of extended operations on the current decommissioning CEQA process.

No public comment will be allowed, but you may submit written comments at any time [to the Panel].
diablocanyonpanel[dot]org/submit-comment/

Talking Points:

  • There is supposedly a list being developed of deferred maintenance projects and the associated estimated costs. Who is participating in the compilation of this list? When will it be available to the public? Who will oversee these projects?
  • There is much controversy over the seismic safety of Diablo Canyon. What agency(ies) is/are responsible for the independent analysis of seismic dangers? How and when will the public be informed of the findings?
  • Explain the plans for how the high level radioactive waste will be stored as a result of the proposed extended operation. How will the fuel pools and the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation be managed? 
  • SB 846 allows 5 years of extended operation. But the 2018 agreement to shutter the reactors in 2024 and 2025, signed and approved by the CPUC and the NRC, was ignored and reversed. What assurance does the public have that the plant would operate for 5 additional years and no more?

PG&E’s Summary of SB 846 and the status of activities relating to extended operation
diablocanyonpanel(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/SB-846-PGE-Summary-11_23_22.pdf

https://mothersforpeace.org/december-14-2022-meeting-of-the-diablo-canyon-decommissioning-engagement-panel/

— Jan. 10, 2023: CPUC hearing on San Onofre decommissioning

California Public Utilities Commission —

CPUC To Hold Public Forum on San Onofre Decommissioning

December 16, 2022 – 

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a remote public forum to provide an opportunity to offer comment about Southern California Edison’s (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) requests related to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), as follows:

WHEN: January 10, 2023, 5 p.m.

WHERE: Remote access via webcast or phone:

  • Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to participate via webcast will only have audio and video capabilities but will not be able to make verbal comments. If you would like to make a comment during the meeting, the phone-in information is below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the workshop, click the green button at the bottom of the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The forums will also be recorded and archived for future viewing.
  • English Phone: 800-857-1917, passcode: 1767567#
    • Participants will have audio in English and will be able to make comments. (To make a comment, after entering the passcode, when prompted press *1, unmute your phone, and record your name.)
    • Wait times depend on the number of speakers in the public comment queue. During times of high call volumes, wait times will be longer. The operator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.

You can also make your voice heard in this proceeding, and read the comments of others, on our online Docket Card comment section for the proceeding at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/A2202016.

The public forum (also formally known as a Public Participation Hearing) will not have in-person attendance. Members of the public can view the public forum via the Internet or listen. Those who would like to make public comment must participate by telephone and make comment through the toll-free phone line.

WHAT: The public forum will begin with a brief overview by SCE and SDG&E explaining its updated nuclear decommissioning cost activities for the Palo Verde and SONGS nuclear power plants. Public comments will be taken live by phone. At least one representative from SCE and SDG&E will be present throughout the forum to answer questions.

BACKGROUND: On February 28, 2022, SCE and SDG&E submitted an application for their Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial review to the CPUC requesting approval for cost recovery related to Palo Verde and SONGS nuclear power plants that were completed during January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020, and for undistributed decommissioning expenditures incurred during the same period. SDG&E owns a minority share of SONGS.

The CPUC welcomes attendance and comments on SCE and SDG&E’s request at the public forum, as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision. The Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceeding is scheduled to issue a Proposed Decision in the case for consideration by the CPUC within a year.

While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend the remote public forum, no official action will be taken on this matter.

If special accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll-free at 866-849-8390 at least three business days in advance of the public forum.

Further information on public forum is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov/pph.

The Ruling setting the public forum is available at docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M496/K525/496525027.PDF.

Documents related to this proceeding are available at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/A2202016.

To receive electronic updates on CPUC proceedings, sign-up for the CPUC’s free subscription service at subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

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Press Release docs.cpuc.ca(dot)gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M500/K003/500003592.PDF

cpuc.ca(dot)gov/news-and-updates/all-news/cpuc-to-hold-public-forum-on-san-onofre-decommissioning

— EPA won’t require full cleanup of Hunters Point, SF

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility PEER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Contact:
Jeff Ruch jruch@peer.org (510) 213-7028


EPA Says Hunters Point Will Never Be Fully Cleaned  

EPA Plans to Ignore Prop P Mandate and Its Own Superfund Standards  

Oakland, CA —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that Hunters Point Naval Shipyard cleanup will not be sufficient to allow unrestricted residential use, according to an agency memo sent to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Instead, the agency will rely upon caps and “land use restrictions” in violation of Proposition P, the overwhelmingly approved voter initiative demanding a full cleanup for the shipyard, a Superfund site since 1989.  

In meetings with top EPA officials in August and December 2021, PEER and allied groups asked for a commitment that the soil cleanup standards for Hunters Point be strict enough to allow for unrestricted residential use. They argued that the current soil cleanup standards violated EPA’s own Superfund guidance and would leave so much radiological waste that 1 in every 473 people would get cancer or the equivalent of getting a chest X-ray every other day for decades. 

Via an unsigned September 30, 2022 memo transmitted by Silvina Fonseca, a senior official with EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management which oversees Superfund, the agency demurred on the groups’ request to tighten the soil cleanup standards and would instead rely upon restrictions on allowed land uses at Hunters Point contrary to the demands of Proposition P, passed by more than 86% of voters in 2000, that the shipyard “be cleaned to a level which would enable the unrestricted use of the property – the highest standard for cleanup established by the [EPA]” – 

“Regarding your recommendation that soil radiological cleanup goals be based on an unrestricted use scenario consistent with the City/County of San Francisco’s Proposition P, broadly, EPA’s policy is to achieve protective remedies consistent with reasonably anticipated future land use. Institutional controls, like land use restrictions, are a common component of Superfund remedies nationwide to ensure protection of human health but also to ensure the integrity of remedies in the long term.” 

 “The bottom line is that EPA will not commit to the full cleanup of Hunters Point,” stated PEER Pacific Director Jeff Ruch, noting that this memo was nearly one year after EPA had promised to answer the groups’ August 2021 request. “As things stand now, the plan at Hunters Point is to pave over contamination rather than remove it.”  

The EPA revelation occurred just one day after EPA testified before the Board’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee last week but failed to disclose the EPA decision to not require a complete cleanup. This revelation creates a new confrontation regarding Hunters Point. The President of the Board of Supervisors has pledged there will be no transfer of Hunters Point land to the City without a “100% complete cleanup,” and EPA has now declared there will be no such cleanup. Tomorrow, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will resume consideration of a County Grand Jury report about rising groundwater and sea-level rise would wash much of the remaining Hunters Point contamination into San Francisco Bay. 

“On one hand, EPA talks about the importance of community input but on the other hand says it is free to ignore Prop P, one of the strongest expressions of community input imaginable,” added Ruch, pointing out this was supposed to be the biggest redevelopment in the city since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. “After more than 30 years of EPA supervision, Hunters Point is and will likely remain a radiological waste dump.”   

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Read the EPA memo 

Look at the Navy/EPA plan to leave contaminated soil onsite 

View the Grand Jury report 

Examine the lack of transparency on cleanup plans 

Look at the call for a national “garden pathway” cleanup standard

https://peer.org/epa-says-hunters-point-will-never-be-fully-cleaned/