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Press Release: Rally for A Nuclear-Free Berkeley at Old City Hall, Tuesday at 6

From Bob Meola, Commissioner, Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission
Monday June 18, 2012 - 11:06:00 PM

Rally for a Nuclear-Free California will take place on Tuesday, June 18th, 2012, at 6:00 PM on the steps of Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, in Berkeley, prior to the Special 7:00 PM Berkeley City Council Meeting. The rally, sponsored by the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, will include Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame, Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Dan Hirsch of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, Jacqueline Cabasso of Western States Legal Foundation, and Bob Meola of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. 

The rally is in support of the anti-nuclear resolution in front of the Berkeley City Council meeting immediately following it. The resolution to “Decommission California Nuclear Power Plants and Transition to Green Non-Nuclear Power Generation Sources” was passed by the Peace and Justice Commission prior to the shutting down of San Onofre, due to safety concerns stemming from the malfunctioning of the plant’s steam generator tubing in January. It calls on Governor Jerry Brown to exercise his powers to direct the California Public Utilities Commission to call for replacing aging reactors with clean and renewable energy generation by the end of the current licenses of California’s nuclear power plants at Diablo Canyon and at San Onofre , thereby sending a clear signal to Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison that the State of California intends to use its jurisdiction to protect its economy and the reliability of its energy sources. The direction of the resolution toward state agencies is premised on the economic and reliability issues posed by these plants as the safety issues are in the jurisdiction of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  

The resolution also urges President Obama and the NRC to reverse their support of nuclear power, stop loan guarantees to the nuclear energy industry, shut down nuclear facilities operating in seismically active areas of the United States, establish a moratorium on building new nuclear reactors, and invest in clean, renewable energy. It insists that the NRC withhold license renewal for Diablo Canyon and San Onofre Nuclear Power plants until seismic issues and offsite permanent storage are resolved.  

The resolution comes at a time when San Onofre is still shut down due to its malfunctioning and a U.S. Appeals Court in New York has said that the NRC cannot license or re-license any nuclear power plant until it examines the dangers and consequences of long term on-site storage of nuclear waste. According to Peace and Justice Commissioner, Bob Meola, 

“Europe is de-commissioning 150 nuclear power plants. Former Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan recently said that he wants Japan to discard Nuclear Power and that the Fukushima incident had pushed Japan to the brink of ‘national collapse.’ We have seen over the last few decades that many plants have had design flaws, and construction flaws and errors. Seismic studies have purposely not been done when the utility companies knew there was reason to do them. There have never been responsible and realistic evacuation plans because they are impossible to implement. The nuclear industry is built on fraud, lies, deception, ineptness, greed, and a lack of concern for human and other life on this planet. It is time to permanently scrap nuclear power. In light of all this, the Berkeley City Council should urge Governor Brown to not let San Onofre ever start up again and to shut Diablo Canyon as soon as possible. It is too risky to let it run until its license expires.”