Pro-nuclear legislation introduced

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 18, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Assemblymember Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) has introduced legislation lifting the statewide moratorium on nuclear power.

AB 1776 would replace the ban with a much narrower prohibition: the Energy Commission would be prohibited from certifying a site for a nuclear power plant in seismically active areas or within five miles of a designated coastal area of biological significance.

Nuclear power, while still controversial, is gaining in public acceptance, due largely to its low carbon footprint.  California’s two nuclear generating units, Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, have virtually zero carbon emissions, a key consideration as California embarks on a low-carbon future pursuant to last year's AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act (Chapter 488, Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles).  

Local opposition has been a factor in the nuclear debate for the more than two decades that California’s nuclear plants have been in operation.  The federal government has selected the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada as a permanent repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel, although development of the site has been delayed by a number of permitting and related problems.   

The license for Diablo Canyon expires in 2021.  The license for the San Onofre expires in 2022.  Both facilities are in the re-licensing process.

CMTA supports AB 1776.  The state's two nuclear power plants provide inexpensive, zero emission baseload power that is vital to grid reliability and represents a full ten percent of the state's electrical supply.  This is definitely a case of ‘more is better.’

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