Environmentalists Call for Shutdown of Diablo Canyon as well
Environment California Research & Policy Center
Los Angeles – A locally-based environmental group hailed Southern California Edison’s decision to permanently shut down the ailing San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant today as a victory for public safety and environmental protection.
The group will now turn its focus to safe decommissioning of San Onofre, replacing nuclear power with clean, safe alternatives, and retiring the state’s other aging nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon.
“Shutting down San Onofre is the right thing to do,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California, an environmental organization that has been working for years to shut down California’s two aging nuclear power plants. “Shutting down this nuclear plant will best protect public safety and the environment.”
The 45-year old plant, located in San Clemente, had experienced multiple safety and management issues over the years, most recently a radiation leak due to faulty new equipment that crippled the plant and kept it shuttered since January 2012. An estimated 8 million people live within 50 miles of the plant, along miles of coastline and alongside abundant marine life that live in southern California’s warm waters.
“Nuclear power is dangerous,” said Kinman. “Millions of residents as well as California’s precious ocean environment are better off with San Onofre shut down.”
Today’s decision comes after years of pressure from community, public health and environmental organizations to retire the plant and replace it with clean alternatives. Since 2012, a growing amount of pressure also came from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.
“We applaud the leadership of Sen. Boxer as well as all the local elected officials who stood up for public health and environmental safety,” said Kinman. “Now it is critical that California officials work to replace San Onofre with clean energy options including conservation, efficiency and renewable power.”
Environmentalists have called for safely decommissioning San Onofre so that it doesn’t remain a threat to local communities in years to come, as well as for shutting down Diablo Canyon, California’s other nuclear power plant located in northern California.
“Given the age of our nuclear power plants, their proximity to active fault lines, and their threat to our ocean environment, California should move beyond nuclear power once and for all by retiring Diablo Canyon as soon as possible,” concluded Kinman.
Environment California Research & Policy Center is a statewide nonprofit environmental research and policy organization working to protect California’s air, water and open spaces. More information can be found at www.environmentcalifornia.org/center.