Here's what could happen to Diablo Canyon once it closes
- Nov 30, 2018 4:36 pm GMTNov 30, 2018 8:57 pm GMT
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The report was compiled by the
Since May, the group has held monthly meetings and special workshops on topics like future land uses, storage of spent fuel rods and economic redevelopment, gathering roughly 465 documented comments.
In its draft report -- released
Chief among those findings?
* Decommissioning and decontamination "should begin immediately upon shutdown."
* It should include "cost-saving approaches that save ratepayers money while assuring that the safety of the community is not compromised."
* The 12,000 acres around Diablo Canyon should be conserved and allow for "managed public access."
* As many on and off-site facilities as possible should be repurposed to reduce the amount of demolition and costs.
"We are grateful for the panel's thoughtful deliberations in crafting this report,"
The report is only a draft at this moment: Members of the public can submit their thoughts and comments on the document now through
In an email to The Tribune on Thursday, engagement panel member
"The closing of Diablo Canyon will have significant impact on this community," she wrote. "It presents challenges as well as opportunity, and now is the time for us to influence the process for the best possible outcome. How can we replace those jobs? How should the 12,000 beautiful acres that surround the plant be managed and made available for public access? What is the best way for the decommissioning to proceed? We can shape the future as a community, and here is our chance."
Before you submit your comments, here's a closer look at some of the panel's findings.
What will the decommissioning process look like?
Short answer: "lengthy and complicated."
According to the report, the process will include decisions on big-ticket issues like long-term storage and removal of spent nuclear fuel, and would likely take decades. An example timeline provided in the report lists activity going through 2076.
Because of this, the panel recommends that the decommissioning process being as soon as the plant shuts down, rather than an option known as SAFSTOR (short for SAFe STORage) that would delay the full decontamination of the plant for up to 60 years while it waits for radioactive materials to decay.
Instead, the panel recommended that the spent nuclear fuel be removed from the site "as soon as feasible."
They also recommended that spent fuel stored on-site be monitored "at all times ... using real-time radiation monitoring" and that the most technologically advanced storage methods be used at all times.
Additionally, the eventual transport of that spent fuel through the surrounding communities should not take place at peak traffic times, they said.
How should the shutdown be funded?
That fund currently has about
"Although funding the costs for decommissioning should be guided by the principle of avoiding imposition of undue burdens on ratepayers, the safety of the community, both now and in the future, should never be discounted," read the report.
To accomplish that,
What happens to the lands, like
What would happen to the land surrounding the plant has been one of the biggest public concerns since
In its report, the panel recommended the utility conserve the 12,000 acres surrounding the plant and set it up so that the public could access at least a portion through trails.
"The 12,000 acres of
The group specifically recommended that
This would also include the area known as
The panel also recommended working with the Native American community to preserve cultural and archaeological sites and continued access to that land.
What happens to the buildings?
The plant is home to more than just its two nuclear reactors: On site there are structures like warehouses, office buildings, a fire station, maintenance shops and a marina among others.
So what happens to all of those facilities?
As part of is vision to keep costs low, the panel recommended repurposing most of those buildings in some manner.
One of the potential future uses could be as a research and development facility emphasizing marine sciences, renewable energy technologies, energy storage or other technology innovation.
The facilities could also be used for an "innovative mental health treatment center," the group said.
"The repurposing of these facilities could create opportunities to minimize the costs of decommissioning by avoiding dismantling and removal, while promoting future uses that involve job creation, economic development and other public benefits consistent with public safety and the environmental quality of the region," read the report.
The group also said that the on-site desalination plant should be used beyond decommissioning to provide water to any future tenants. Using it for emergency water to local water purveyors should also be considered, they said.
What about the future of the engagement panel?
Additionally, one of the panel members has suggested that the public might need a "more robust and sustainable decommissioning advisory panel" than the existing engagement panel.
"(The engagement panel) lacks independence and resources," Karlin wrote in the attachment. "Community needs much more robust and sustainable DAP that can vigilant for the long haul (20+ year ) of decommissioning."
In his vision, Karlin wrote that the new advisory panel members should have more independence from
Once finalized, the plan will be submitted to the
To submit your comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit them online. You can also view the full document on
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