California Energy Commission Letterhead

In the Matter of:
Preparation of the AB 1632 Nuclear
Power Plant Assessment Report,
2008 Integrated Energy Policy Report
Update, and the 2009 Integrated Energy Policy Report

Docket No. 07-AB-1632
Docket No. 08-IEP-1F

NOTICE OF JOINT COMMITTEE WORKSHOP

 

Notice of Joint Committee Workshop and Report Availability
AB 1632 Nuclear Power Plant Assessment

Documents for Workshop

The Electricity and Natural Gas Committee and the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee will conduct a joint public workshop to review the draft consultant report, AB 1632 Assessment of California's Operating Nuclear Plants. Commissioner Jeffrey Byron is the Presiding Member and Vice Chair James D. Boyd is the Associate Member of the Electricity and Natural Gas Committee. Commissioner Jeffrey Byron is the Presiding Member and Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel is the Associate Member of the IEPR Committee. Other commissioners from the Energy Commission may attend and participate in this workshop. The workshop will be held on:

THURSDAY, September 25, 2008
9:00 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Audio from this hearing will be broadcast over the Internet.
For details, please go to: www.energy.ca.gov/webcast/

To participate in the workshop by phone,
please call (888) 566-5914 by 9:00 a.m.
Passcode: IEPR Call Leader: Suzanne Korosec

Purpose

In 2006 the California Legislature enacted AB 1632 (Blakeslee, Chapter 722, Statutes of 2006; codified as Public Resources Code 25303), which directs the Energy Commission to complete an assessment of the vulnerabilities of large baseload plants greater than 1700 megawatts to a major disruption due to a seismic event or plant aging, potential impacts of such a disruption, the costs and impacts from waste accumulating at these plants, and major issues related to the future role of these plants in the state. California's two operating nuclear power plants, Diablo Canyon and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), are the only two California plants meeting the 1700-megawatt baseload criterion.

Diablo Canyon and SONGS contribute a significant portion of California's electricity supply. These plants are located in seismically active zones along California's central and southern coast. In addition, they generate spent nuclear fuel, which will be stored at the plants indefinitely until the federal government develops a permanent means for nuclear waste disposal.

The Energy Commission held a public workshop on December 12, 2007 to present and receive public comments on a draft study plan, which was then finalized in January 2008 (available on-line at www.energy.ca.gov/ab1632/documents/2008-01-30_STUDY_PLAN.PDF). The consultant's draft report will be discussed at the September 25 workshop and is available for public comments, which are due October 2, 2008. A draft Committee report is anticipated to be released mid-October 2008 and a public workshop on this report in late October 2008. The Energy Commission will consider the final Committee report for adoption in early November 2008, and include a summary of the report's findings in the 2008 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update.

The purpose of the workshop is to present the consultant's draft report, AB 1632 Assessment of California's Operating Nuclear Plants, prepared in response to the AB 1632 legislation, and to solicit the public's comments on the draft report. The draft report will be available on the Energy Commission's website at www.energy.ca.gov/ab1632/documents/ prior to the workshop.

Background

Since the 1970s, the debate over the future of nuclear power in California has focused on concerns about the disposal of high-level nuclear wastes (spent fuel) generated by nuclear power plants; seismic issues; safety and security risks; economic costs; and environmental impacts. In 1976 the California Legislature enacted laws requiring operational and approved high-level nuclear waste disposal and fuel reprocessing options before construction of additional nuclear plants could take place in the state. The Energy Commission was charged with evaluating those options and ultimately concluded that no operational and approved federal waste disposal or fuel reprocessing options existed - a finding reaffirmed in the Energy Commission's 2005 and 2007 IEPRs.

California utilities are responsible for the safe storage of spent fuel from the operating nuclear plants until the federal government builds a permanent national repository for the disposal of highly radioactive wastes. Because of continued delays in the federal program for developing a national waste repository at Yucca Mountain, spent fuel must be retained at nuclear power plant sites. Since California reactors are unable to transfer spent fuel offsite, the utilities are reconfiguring their onsite spent fuel storage pools and building onsite dry storage casks. This imposes costs and potential risks to California ratepayers.

AB 1632 required the following assessments:

  • The potential vulnerability of Diablo Canyon and SONGS to a major disruption due to a major seismic event.
  • The potential vulnerability of Diablo Canyon and SONGS to a major disruption due to plant aging.
  • The impact of a major disruption at Diablo Canyon or SONGS on system reliability, public safety, and the economy.
  • The state and local costs and impacts from the accumulating waste at California's nuclear plants in the absence of a long-term, permanent federal waste disposal solution for these wastes.
  • Other key policy and planning issues affecting the future role of operating nuclear power plants in the state.

Workshop Participation and Comments

The Committees are seeking the active participation of interested parties in discussing the consultant's draft report. Interested parties are encouraged to present their views either orally at the workshop or through written comments. If you wish to present your comments at this workshop, you may contact Barbara Byron at (916) 654-4976 or by e-mail at [bbyron@energy.state.ca.us] by September 23, 2008. Requests for participation on the day of the workshop will be accommodated to the extent that time allows. The Committee will take general comments from the public immediately following the presentations on the draft report. The Committees request that written comments on the draft report be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on October 2, 2008. Please include the docket number 07-AB-1632 and 08-IEP-1F and please indicate AB 1632 Assessment in the subject line or initial paragraph of your comments.

The Energy Commission encourages comments by e-mail. Please include your name or organization's name in the name of the file. Those submitting comments by electronic mail should provide them in either Microsoft Word format or Portable Document Format (PDF) to [docket@energy.state.ca.us]. One paper copy must also be sent to the Energy Commission's Dockets Unit at the address shown below.

Parties may also submit comments in hard copy. Please hand deliver or mail an original to:

California Energy Commission
Dockets Office, MS-4
Re: Docket No.07-AB-1632 and 08-IEP-1F
1516 Ninth Street, MS-4
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

Workshop participants also may provide an original paper copy at the beginning of the workshop. All written materials relating to this workshop will be filed with the Dockets Unit and will become part of the public record in this proceeding.

Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Elena Miller, provides public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you would like information on how to participate in this workshop, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or toll-free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at [pao@energy.state.ca.us]. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate in this hearing, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days before the workshop.

Please direct all news media inquiries to the Media Office at (916) 654-4989, or by e-mail at [mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us]. For technical questions regarding the subject matter of the workshop or about the AB 1632 Assessment, please contact Barbara Byron, Program Manager, at (916) 654-4976 or by email at [bbyron@energy.state.ca.us]. For general questions regarding the IEPR proceeding, please contact Suzanne Korosec, Assistance Director of Policy Development, by phone at (916) 654-4516 or by e-mail at [skorosec@energy.state.ca.us]. Notices and documents for the AB 1632 proceeding are posted to the Energy Commission website at www.energy.ca.gov/ab1632/.

When new information is posted, an e-mail will be sent to those on the "energypolicy" e-mail list server. We encourage those who are interested in receiving these notices to sign up for the list server through the website at www.energy.ca.gov/listservers/.


commissioner signature
JEFFREY D. BYRON
Presiding Member
Electricity and Natural Gas Committee
Integrated Energy Policy Report Committee

commissioner signature
JAMES D. BOYD
Vice Chair and Associate Member
Electricity and Natural Gas Committee

 

commissioner signature
JACKALYNE PFANNENSTIEL
Chairman and Associate Member
Integrated Energy Policy Report Committee



 

Note: California Energy Commission's formal name is State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.