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Santa Cruz resident Ben Davis Jr., who was behind a failed initiative that would have effectively shuttered California’s two nuclear power plants after proponents were unable to collect enough signatures to place it on the 2012 ballot, is back with a new petition effort seeking to place a similar measure on the 2014 ballot.

At the heart of Davis’ proposition is a requirement that the state’s remaining reactors, including northern San Diego’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the Diablo Canyon facility on the central coast, not be allowed to operate absent a long-term plan for storage of nuclear waste generated by the reactors.

Of course, following the demise of plans to move forward with the proposed (and long-delayed) storage facility at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain in 2010, no such plans for long term storage of nuclear waste exist anywhere in the United States. Effectively, passage of the measure would mean the end of nuclear power generation in the state.

The previous signature-gathering effort faltered after a fiscal analysis drafted by the Secretary of State predicted a cost of “billions of dollars” to taxpayers as a result of passage. Davis at the time disputed the analysis, calling the claims made “unsubstantiated, false, and misleading.”

Davis needs to gather a little more than a half million validated signatures to place the measure on the ballot in the next statewide election.

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