STATEMENTS ON THE CALIFORNIA DIABLO
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT NRC HEARINGS
Crosby Testimony ( Page 34 ) Click Here
Honorable Commissioners: Good afternoon, my name is Bonnie Raitt.
Thank you for letting us submit this testimony today. As I’m sure you’re
aware, your responsibility for regulating these two reactors affects us
all. Having lived within a few hours drive of Diablo Canyon since its beginning,
I have been deeply concerned about the safety and viability of the reactors
in light of past and now recent seismic studies pointing to the dangers
of the plant being in such close proximity to several significant earthquake
faults. As Californians, we are all worried about the devastation the radiation
from Diablo could bring in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack.
We are counting on you to protect us and appreciate you considering the
points we feel compelled to make here today. Now that renewable energy
is so much cheaper than nuclear, we wonder why the plant is operating at
all. Renewables can easily supplant all the energy Diablo produces. They
will also create far more jobs than are currently sustained at the plant.
We're concerned about the good people still working at Diablo, but we know
many of them could stay on to decommission the reactors once their time
comes to an end.
We also know that the 2200 megawatts Diablo produces will be quickly
replaced with solar and wind power, and that those renewable sources will
create far more jobs than there are now at Diablo. Shutting it down will
mean that jobs for solar installers, wind power technicians and the like
will multiply to fill the gap. In the meantime, we have to ask you: Why
is Dr. Michael Peck not being listened to? And why is he no longer working
at Diablo Canyon?
Dr. Peck was your own top inspector at the site. As we all know,
he has warned that Diablo can't withstand the shocks that could be easily
delivered by the dozen fault lines in the area. Those fault lines had not
been discovered before construction began in 1968. The Hosgri was found
by Shell Oil while Diablo was being built. The rest we learned about later.
The newly found Shoreline Fault crosses within less than a thousand yards
of the reactor cores. How can we believe that Diablo is strong enough to
withstand earthquakes coming from these fault lines if they were not accounted
for in the original blueprints and final construction more than 40 years
We know that Diablo is just 45 miles from the San Andreas fault.
The quake that destroyed Fukushima was twice that distance from the reactors
there. The owners of Fukushima repeatedly assured the public that its American-made
reactors would withstand an earthquake and a tsunami. Neither was true.
Why would we believe the same assurances about Diablo? We are told that
because Diablo is on a high bluff, it won’t be affected by a tsunami. But
the intake pipes are at sea level. Please explain to us how they are protected.
We have also seen at Fukushima that the owner, Tokyo Electric Power, has
not been held financially responsible for the damage it’s done to the health
and property of people in the area. In fact, thanks to government bailouts,
Tepco has turned Fukushima into a profit center. Because of the Price-Anderson
Act, that would likely be the case at Diablo Canyon as well. If there’s
a major catastrophe at Diablo, PG&E has very limited liability. And
if put in charge of the clean-up, even after a terrible accident like Fukushima,
the company could continue to make money. Tepco certainly has. In that
context, why would we ever believe PG&E can be trusted to keep those
There’s no time today to discuss the NRC’s cozy relationship with
the industry it’s supposed to regulate. That would take hours. So given
our limited time here, we want to urge you to finally act as truly independent
regulators. We ask you to put the health and safety of the public first….ahead
of the short-term needs of PG&E, ahead of the agenda of the nuclear
power industry. It’s worth noting again: Dr. Michael Peck is clearly the
expert who knows most about Diablo’s ability to withstand an earthquake.
He does not believe it can. Why was he removed from his position here?
And why isn’t he being listened to? For the safety of California, we ask
you to shut Diablo now. Thank you for this opportunity to speak strongly
and from my heart.
Every day Diablo Canyon takes in 2.5 billion gallons of seawater
and discharges that seawater back into the ocean, twenty degrees hotter.
So much for nuclear power as a solution to global warming.... It has been
estimated by biologists that more than 1.5 billion fish die annually in
early life stages as a result of the antiquated cooling system at Diablo
While the State Water resources Control Board may be considering
creating an interim mitigation fee, this fee won't do anything to address
the loss of aquatic life, or the real cost of allowing this much ocean
warming to go unchecked.
Governor Brown has set very serious goals for the reduction of climate
change in the near future. We need to do everything we can to meet those
goals. Although it has been argued that nuclear power is clean and can
help to meet climate change goals, that argument does not take into consideration
the uranium mining portion of the process, which is anything but clean,
or the storage of nuclear waste, which takes even more electricity to keep
the waste cool. Because nuclear power plants like Diablo that are at risk
of closing can’t compete with cheaper natural gas and renewables, this
week the EPA announced States will no longer be able to meet their clean
energy goals by extending the licenses of these nuclear power plants.
At a time when the world's oceans are reeling from the effects of
over fishing and pollution, and ocean acidification threatens the global
oceans' ability to produce the marine life that supports all life on earth
- including human life - it is unconscionable that
this wasteful and unnecessary technology be allowed to continue its
assault on the Pacific Ocean, and to slow our passage to a safe and sustainable
Shut down Diablo Canyon today!
My friends Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt,
David Crosby, Stephen Stills and I started to oppose nuclear power by supporting
proposition 15, the Nuclear SafeGuards Initiative in 1976. There were 6
plants under construction then and there were two in operation, Humbolt
and San Onofre #1.
Both of them….. now gone, shut down….“for safety reasons”.
Of the six I mentioned completed, 4 have been shut down for “Financial
and safety reasons”, only the two at Diablo Canyon remain and, as everyone
knows, they were both built in active, dangerous seismic zones. We have
participated, many times in raising funds, disseminating information and
supporting local grass roots and national organizations to help empower
people to act and will continue to do so in the future.
My friends and I sincerely believe that the Diablo Canyon nuclear
power plant is an accident waiting to happen. Please, if just for the sake
of all our children and grand-children, we must try our best to see to
it that dreadful, expensive accidents like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl
and Fukushima never happen here.
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