— Gavin Newsom’s protection of PG&E and Diablo Canyon

From Mothers for Peace

Governor Newsom has been carrying PG&E’s water for too long. When will it end?
July 8, 2022

Governor Newsom’s cozy relationship with PG&E has been ongoing since his run for San Francisco Supervisor in 1998. By now, contributions from PG&E add up to well over $10 million in support of his campaigns and ballot measures.  The company has also contributed hundreds of thousands to Newsom’s wife’s foundation. In return, Newsom has helped PG&E get away with murder, literally. And now, Newsom is proving his loyalty to the company by providing a runway for PG&E to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open past its agreed-upon closure date of 2025. 

On June 30, the Department of Energy (DOE) bowed to Newsom’s plea to change the rules so Diablo could qualify for a portion of the $6 million of Civil Nuclear Tax Credits. The DOE also extended the application deadline until September 6, 2022, allowing PG&E ample time to apply. Newsom is no stranger to manipulating circumstances to help PG&E. After the Camp Fire, which killed 85 people in 2018, Newsom had his lawyers craft a bill, AB 1054. This 2019 bill essentially protected PG&E by creating a $21 billion fund to help utilities cover the cost of major wildfires started by their equipment and forcing customers to pay for half of the cost of the fund. The bill also enabled PG&E to obtain official state safety certificates for two fire seasons since the Camp Fire. Yet, three years later, a state report on the 2021 Dixie Fire indicated that the utility was negligent in its tree-removal program, which helped spark the fire, and that their response the day of the fire was “excessively delayed.”

Newsom benefited from $208,400 in political contributions from PG&E to help him win his 2018 run for governor. 

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling weakening the EPA, Governor Newsom claimed that “California is taking bold action to further advance California’s progress toward an oil-free future and bolster the state’s clean energy economy.” Yet, at the same time, he convinced members of the State Legislature to pass a very climate-unfriendly Trailer Budget Bill. This legislation provides a $75 million allocation for the Department of Water Resources to purchase electricity from Diablo Canyon and hundreds of millions more for fossil fuel power plants.

Keeping Diablo open past 2025 breaks a hard-fought agreement between environmental organizations, labor, and PG&E. It puts the availability of renewable energy at risk, undercutting the state’s ability to reduce carbon dioxide and other climate-warming emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. California does not need Diablo to ensure sufficient energy to prevent power outages or meet climate goals. To be clear, Diablo Canyon is closing because PG&E determined in 2016 that doing so would enable it to meet California’s renewable energy standard (RES) and emissions standards more rapidly and more cost-effectively.

Newsom’s coddling of PG&E and his maneuverings at the state and federal levels to keep Diablo running is all the more disturbing in that his motivations are based on the false narrative that these fossil and nuclear-fueled plants will prevent power outages. They will not. Energy consultant Robert Freehling explains it succinctly: “These plants were operating during the early 2000s energy crisis and in 2020. They did not prevent outages.” 

Timeline: PG&E’s disasters since 2010
ABC10 examined the disasters and wildfires caused by PG&E, starting with the San Bruno Gas Explosion in 2010 then jumping ahead 8 years to the Camp Fire.Here’s a look at the timeline of PG&E’s disasters by ABC10:2010… PG&E was convicted of six federal felonies, including obstruction of the investigation, stemming from the 2010 San Bruno Gas Explosion. The blast killed eight people. Due to this conviction, the company was placed on probation until 2022, paid a $3 million fine, and was sentenced to 10,000 hours of community service.

2017… PG&E started serving time on probation in 2017, and as a convicted felon, donated $208,000 to Gavin Newsom’s run for governor.

2018... Newsom wins the governor’s race in November of 2018. Three days later, the Camp Fire started, destroying the town of Paradise and nearby communities. The fire resulted in the deaths of 85 people. It was determined the company left  a hook hanging for nearly a hundred years until it broke, dropped a power line and sparked the fire.

2019… Problems with similar parts on a high tension power line are blamed for sparking the Kincade Fire. It burned more than a hundred homes in wine country. No one died, but it was close. Firefighters were injured while saving people. PG&E is fighting multiple felony and misdemeanor charges filed by Sonoma County in connection to the Kincade Fire.

2020… PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 felony counts of manslaughter, and one felony for sparking the Camp Fire through criminally reckless behavior. Three months after the court proceedings for the Camp Fire, the Zogg Fire broke out when a tree hit a PG&E power line in Shasta County. Four people died, including eight-year-old Feyla McLeod and her mother, both of whom burned to death running for their lives in a pickup truck. It’s an active homicide investigation and prosecutors recently announced they will be filing charges against PG&E and possibly officials who work there. The judge managing PG&E’s probation already found PG&E committed safety “violations” when PG&E’s contractors marked an unsafe tree leaning over the power line, but no one ever followed up to cut it down.

2021… PG&E’s legal obligation to find and cut trees threatening power lines is again under investigation for the Dixie Fire, which is still raging through communities ever since igniting on July 13. The fire started where a tree fell on a PG&E power line just a short distance up the Feather River Canyon from where PG&E sparked the Camp Fire. The question for investigators isn’t whether PG&E sparked the Dixie Fire, but whether PG&E is criminally responsible. That question hinges on whether PG&E should have found the tree and cut it before it fell.

https://mothersforpeace.org/governor-newsom-has-been-carrying-pges-water-for-too-long-when-will-it-end/ — includes other links

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/wildfire/timeline-pges-disasters/103-980fbb37-2675-4cc5-a99f-62f1d2e837d4

ABC10 series: Fire Power Money
For over three years, ABC10’s Fire – Power – Money team has been at the forefront covering California’s wildfire crisis, the danger of PG&E’s power lines, and how the company avoids accountability.
Governor Newsom, PG&E, the CPUC, and the California fires
https://www.abc10.com/firepowermoney

— Florida: Explosion and fire at Turkey Point nuclear plant; emergency alert declared; possible “serious safety consequences”; steam vented outside (VIDEO)

From ENE News

March 23, 2017

WSVN, Mar 22, 2017 (emphasis added): Officials looking into explosion at Turkey Point that hurt 1an alert was issued following the “arc flash” explosion… A plant worker was hurt in the explosion and treated at a local hospital…

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mar 20, 2017: Facility: TURKEY POINT… Emergency Class: ALERT… EMERGENCY DECLAREDALERT DECLARED FOR INDICATIONS OF FIRE IN SAFETY RELATED SWITCHGEAR… “Alert declared at 1119 EDT 3/18/17 based on… Fire or Explosion affecting plant safety systems. Fire alarms in the Unit 3 4kV switchgear rooms resulting in a loss of the 3A 4kV bus and trip of all three Reactor Coolant Pumps… Decay heat is being removed using feedwater and steam generator atmospheric steam dumps. One person was injured with a minor burn and possible sprained ankle and was taken to a local hospital… Notified DHS SWO, DOE, FEMA, HHS, NICC, USDA, EPA, FDA (e-mail), NWC (e-mail), NNSA (e-mail), and NRCC SASC (e-mail)… [UPDATE] Emergency Plan personnel at the Technical Support Center and Emergency Operations Facility were no longer required for support, the Operations Support Center was staffed for recovery efforts, and plant personnel were sufficient and capable for continuing mitigation efforts.

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mar 22, 2017: NRC To Conduct Special Inspection at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant… [A]n arc flash, or small explosion, also damaged a nearby fire door, which may have left other safety systems vulnerable had there been a fire. A plant worker who was in the room was injured and was treated at a local hospital. “This was an event that could have had serious safety consequences and we need to know more about what happened and why,” said NRC Region II Administrator Cathy Haney…

The Citizen (Florida Keys), Mar 22, 2017: Turkey Point fire shuts down reactor

ABC 10 News, Mar 18, 2017: Firefighters respond to electrical fire at Turkey Point — Firefighters responded to reports of a fire inside the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station… according to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. Florida Power & Light reported there was an electrical fire… The incident didn’t… pose an immediate danger to the facility, according to FPL spokesman Peter Robbins…

Watch the ABC 10 broadcast here

http://enenews.com/tv-explosion-hits-us-nuclear-plant-officials-declare-emergency-alert-fire-shuts-down-reactor-govt-conducting-special-investigation-possible-serious-safety-consequences-video

Fires at two U.S. nuclear plants; emergency declarations by NRC

Oconee Nuclear Plant in North Carolina — March 7, 2016
Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Tennessee — March 9, 2016

From ENE News

ALERT: Emergency at US nuclear plant after “massive” fire and multiple explosions — “All of a sudden we heard this loud boom and the whole ground started shaking” — “Intense Flames… Heavy Black Smoke… Chaos” — 100s of fire personnel called in — “We ask that the public stay away from the area” (VIDEOS)

3-8-16

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mar 7, 2016 (emphasis added): [Oconee Nuclear Station, SC] EMERGENCY DECLARATION DUE TO FIRE/EXPLOSION IN THE MAIN TRANSFORMER… At 1520 EST, the licensee declared a Notification of Unusual Event… personnel were applying additional foam to prevent a re-flash… Offsite assistance was requested with three local fire departments… At 1658 EST, the licensee declared an Alert [when] the fire damaged an overhead power line that supplies emergency power to all three units at Oconee.

WHNS transcript, Mar 7, 2016: People fishing on the lake… reported hearing a loud boom and seeing black smoke, and then steam… Witnesses say there were two explosions… This afternoon [was] chaos… Fire crews [were] all on scene at the Oconee nuclear plant after a massive electrical fire… Fire Official: “It’s also in very close proximity to the buildings… I know they worked on… preventing the transformer from impinging on any of the other structures”… People in the area were very concerned when they saw heavy black smokeWitness: “All of a sudden we heard this loud boom and the whole ground started shaking.”… It’s a scary situation… [An official] said it was a very rare problem.

Loudspeaker at Oconee Nuclear Station: “Attention all site personnel… This is an emergency message… An unusual event has been declared for Unit 1… TSC – OSC [Technical Support Center – Onsite Operational Support Center] activation is necessary and the TSC – OSC has not yet been activated. Activate the TSC – OSC — I repeat, activate the TSC – OSC.”

WYFF, Mar 7, 2016: Scott Batson, site vice president [said] the intense flames and smoke came from oil burning… Batson said because a cable burned in the fire fell and caused other equipment to be affected, which led to the “unusual event” to be upgraded to an alert.

FOX Carolina, Mar 7, 2016: Hundreds of fire personnel sprang into action after a fire started at the Oconee Nuclear Plant.

WSPA transcript, Mar 7, 2016: Nearby Resident:I freaked out – you see a fire, smoke at a a power plant”… Fire Chief: “When you’re responding to a call, and you can see it when you leave the station like that, it really kind of gets your adrenaline going.”

Oconee County Emergency Management, Mar 7, 2016: “We ask that the public stay away from the area as emergency personnel and Duke Energy staff work.”

Greenville News, Mar 6, 2016: The alert was necessary because the problem could have affected operations of the plant itself… The transformer is 25 to 30 feet from the turbine building that serves Unit 1 and about 100 yards from the reactor building

WLOS, Mar 6, 2016: A transformer burst into flames at an Upstate nuclear power station…. Officials did ask the public to stay away from the area… The fire chief also said crews are continuing to work with on-site personnel to ensure… there is no further extension.

From last month: ALERT: Fire/explosion at North Carolina nuclear plant (VIDEO)

Watch broadcasts: WHNS | WSPA | Loudspeaker Announcement

EMERGENCY: Fire breaks out at another US nuclear plant — Blaze ignites in turbine building — “It took so long to put out” — Alert issued to government officials (VIDEO)

March 10, 2016

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mar 9, 2016 (emphasis added): WATTS BAR [Tennessee]… Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT… EMERGENCY DECLARED… UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO A FIRE GREATER THAN 15 MINUTES… Watts Bar Unit 2 declared an Unusual Event at 0342 EST based on a fire greater than 15 minutes in the turbine building – 2B Hotwell pump motor… Notified DHS… DOE, FEMA… and Nuclear SSA…

WBIR, Mar 9, 2016: An electrical fire overnight at TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in southeast Tennessee triggered an alert… It took about 29 minutes from the time the fire was discovered until it was extinguished by the Watts Bar Fire Brigade. The pump was in a part of the plant that is hard to access, and that’s why it took so long to put out. Because the fire burned longer than 15 minutes, a Notice of Unusual Event (NUE) was declared. The NUE triggered an alert to TEMA and other agencies… Unit 2 is fueled but is non-operational. The hot well is where the steam from power generation ends up after being condensed back into water.

WTVC, Mar 9, 2016: TVA spokesman Scott Brooks says the fire broke out at 3:45 a.m. in one of the pump motors, one that received an operating license back in October.

Power Engineering, Mar 9, 2016: Watts Bar 2 Shut Down After Turbine Building Fire — Workers with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) declared an Unusual Event at Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee due to a fire inside the turbine building… The cause is under investigation.

Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mar 10, 2016: Fire at Watts Bar… triggers emergency event

Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mar 9, 2016: Fire in Watts Bar pump motor on Thursday declared an emergency… fire ignited early Wednesday in one of the pump motors for TVA’s newest reactors, forcing the federal utility to declare the lowest of emergency classifications at the plant even before it has produced any power… The Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor will be the first new nuclear reactor added to America’s nuclear grid since the other Watts Bar unit started up in 1996. TVA has spent more than $5 billion to build the unit through a series of starts and stops in construction since the project began in 1973.

WRCB, Mar 9, 2016: Fire in Watts Bar pump motor today brings emergency declaration

WJHL, Mar 9, 2016: TVA: Watts Bar Dam generating unit caught on fire… Tennessee Valley Authority was alerted of an “usual event” [and] was able to extinguish the fire after the alert.

Watch WBIR’s broadcast here

 

http://enenews.com/alert-emergency-nuclear-plant-after-massive-fire-multiple-explosions-all-sudden-heard-loud-boom-ground-started-shaking-videos

http://enenews.com/fire-breaks-another-nuclear-plant-emergency-event-declared-long-put-alert-issued-government-officials-video

Another fire in Chernobyl exclusion zone

Posted on Optimal Prediction.com
July 2, 2015

The latest wildfire to break out near Chernobyl has consumed 130 hectares. It started on June 29, and it is unclear whether it is still burning or not.

Experts have recorded 0.0025 becquerels of Cesium-137 per cubic meter of air. The inspection found that it is beyond the measures usually observed.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the fire in the Chernobyl exclusion zone continues, firefighters are unable to resolve the situation. (link)

Air near the desolated settlement of Polesskoye in the Chernobyl zone is contaminated with the radioactive element cesium-137. Its content in the air has reached a level called “sequence above the norm” (approximately ten times the norm), the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRI) reported on Wednesday.

Cesium-137 is one of the most dangerous nuclear elements, as it accumulates in the body and can lead to leukemia. (link)

The radiation risk involves the fire spreading to areas closer to the plant. But there is no danger of a new explosion.

 Fire near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine poses a danger to the surrounding regions, expert of the Polish branch of Greenpeace Jan Haverkamp told TASS on Thursday.

“We are monitoring the situation. Fortunately, the fire has not yet reached the NPP reactor zone. It’s very dangerous that everything is happening in the nuclear power plant area. If the fire spreads there, a huge amount of radiation will get into the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a risk, but the risk primarily to Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, as they are located in close vicinity,” Haverkamp said.

According to him, there will be no explosion, similar to the 1986 accident, and Eastern European countries, including Poland, have now nothing to worry about.

“We welcome the efforts of Ukrainian authorities that are doing their utmost to prevent the fire from spreading,” the expert said. (link)

http://optimalprediction.com/wp/another-fire-in-chernobyl-exclusion-zone-increasing-i-131-and-emissions-at-fukushima/