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Scott Ellis 5:15 a.m., Aug. 5
The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility has signed on energy policy heavy hitter John Geesman in its intervention over Pacific Gas & Electric’s request for $64 million in ratepayer funding to conduct seismic studies at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in central California.
Geesman previously served as executive director and commissioner of the California Energy Commission, and was a prominent opponent of 2010’s failed Proposition 16, which would have required a two-thirds “super majority” vote in order for communities to establish a municipal utility.
“The fact that the [California Public Utilities Commission] staff could recently rubber-stamp Southern California Edison's proposed seismic studies for the San Onofre nuclear plant without review by any seismic experts shows what we're up against,” said Geesman on the Alliance’s decision to challenge PG&E. The group questions not only the cost, which has risen $47 million since the initial request was made, but the merits of the study’s scope.
They also question the competence of PG&E and CPUC’s oversight, given the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that destroyed 53 homes and damaged 120 others, warning that failure at one of the state’s two operating nuclear facilities, both of which they allege sit in seismically vulnerable areas, could be far worse. “San Bruno was tragic. San Bruno plus radiation would be catastrophic,” said Alliance outreach coordinator David Weisman.
“Nobody finds the dry rot in our regulatory system more effectively than John Geesman, and it is an honor to have him represent us,” said Alliance executive director Rochelle Becker on the addition of Geesman to her team.