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SLO Mothers for Peace lay out opposition to possible extension of Diablo Canyon operations

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Posted at 3:34 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 02:03:15-04

Mothers for Peace, a San Luis Obispo-based nonprofit that opposes the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, held an emergency statewide press conference Tuesday to argue against Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to keep Diablo Canyon running for at least another five years.

Representatives and experts from different nuclear safety awareness groups claimed that extending the nuclear plant's operation would pose more danger to residents, increase electricity bills, and would not decrease the risk of blackouts.

Daniel Hirsch, President of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, claimed that the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant was built near four different fault lines, including the Shoreline fault which lies less than half a mile away from the plant.

Hirsch argued that the fault lines could cause earthquakes stronger than the plant can withstand. And if an earthquake occurs, California would likely face as severe damage as Fukushima faced in 2010.

However, PG&E assured lawmakers in a Senate hearing last week that all structures at Diablo Canyon are seismically safe.

“Two Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors located at Diablo Canyon that daily inspect the plant and assess safety, operations, and maintenance among other things," stated Maureen Zawalick, PG&E Vice President of Decommissioning and Technical Services.

Proponents of the bill have argued that California will not have the infrastructure to meet California's energy demand by the time Diablo Canyon is originally set to shut down.

But experts on the Mothers for Peace panel claimed that the nuclear plant is unreliable in preventing blackouts and that the proposed bill would impede the deployment of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Lawmakers are expected to vote Wednesday on whether to grant PG&E $1.4 million to extend the plant's operation.