Official Summary of Proposed Nuclear Initiative Estimates Costs in Billions of Dollars in Case of Reactor Accident

12/26/07 Result:After Chuck Devore failed to garner enough support in the California Assembly to bring nuclear power to California, he attempted to qualify a ballot measure. However, Assemblyman Devore was forced to withdraw his proposed ballot initiative as well after a failure to garner enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Bridge the Gap and other groups worked hard to fight the initiative’s placement on the ballot, forcing a recognition that its chances at passage were dismal. This marked Devore’s second failure in recent months to bring nuclear power to California.

The California Attorney General, Legislative Analyst Office, and Finance Department have issued the official title and summary for a proposed initiative that would overturn the state’s nuclear safeguards law and permit construction of new nuclear plants.  State law prohibits new reactors until the California Energy Commission certifies that there is a solution to the high level radioactive waste problem.  The initiative would void that law, allow new reactors in about two-thirds of the state, including seismically active areas, and permit high level waste to be stored in numerous places in California for a hundred years.  The official summary indicates there could be millions of dollars in costs to cleanup radioactive contamination at each new nuclear plant, and “potentially in the billions of dollars in the event of a major radioactive release.”