Nuclear Power Returns to California?
The nuclear industry is busily promoting nuclear reactors as the cool carbon-free environmental alternative.
Thankfully, California’s legislators are not biting. On April 16, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted down a controversial bill that would have allowed the construction of nuclear power plants to resume in California.
AB 719 (Devore) would have gutted California’s prescient 1976 Nuclear Safeguards Act, which enforces a moratorium on building nuclear power plants until a permanent storage site for high-level radioactive waste is developed.
Thirty-one years later, the discredited Yucca Mountain remains undeveloped. Approximately 75,000 tons of radioactive byproducts of nuclear power generation have accumulated adjacent to nuclear plants.
The Resources Committee’s analyst wrote of the Devore bill, “the federal waste disposal program has been plagued with technical and legal challenges, managerial problems, licensing delays, persistent weaknesses in quality assurance for the program, and increasing costs.”
Contrary to the nuclear industry’s claim that reactors reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the California Energy Commission asserts that the most significant reductions in CO2 emissions from electricity generation can be achieved through energy efficiency programs and integrating renewable energy resources – solar, wind, thermal, biomass and hydropower – into electricity supplies.
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles is a member of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, a statewide coalition dedicated to protecting public health through promoting clean, renewable and economic energy sources that will create jobs