State Assembly votes against allowing new nuclear plants

The State Assembly this week killed legislation that would have lifted the state’s moratorium on new nuclear power plants.

The bill by Orange County Republican Chuck DeVore would have struck down a 1976 law which prohibits the licensing of any new nuclear power plants until a permanent solution to the problem of storing the nation’s high-level radioactive waste is found.

The proposed underground storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada is beset by problems and is years away from opening, if it ever does. The Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee voted 6 to 3 to uphold the ban.

The San Luis Obispo-based Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility lobbied against the bill.

“We anticipate the results of an upcoming study by the California Energy Commission that will analyze the costs, benefits and risks of continuing down the nuclear energy path will lead us to a clearer understanding of where to invest our energy dollars,” said Rochelle Becker, the group’s executive director.

– David Sneed