A coalition led by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on July 5 to halt the construction of a dry storage facility at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
On June 2, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco
- FILE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER
- DOMES OF CONTENTION : Mothers for Peace and its East Coast attorney filed a motion on July 5 in the hopes of stopping construction at Diablo.
PG&E, the company custodian to the famous coastal plant, told New Times immediately following that decision (â€œRuling wonâ€™t stop cask construction at Diablo,â€? June 8) that the court order dealt solely with the NRC and not the power giant itself. Hence, the company claimed, construction on the dry storage casks designed to hold spent fuel rods would continue as scheduled.
Mothers for Peace and its East Coast attorney, Diane Curran, disagreed and filed the motion, asserting that the ruling effectively struck down the permit awarded to PG&E by the NRC.
â€œWeâ€™re asking the NRC to tell PG&E to stop construction until the findings are in,â€? Mothers for Peace board member Jill ZamEk said of the companyâ€™s decision to forge onward in spite of the ruling. She said that the groupâ€™s main concern lies with the possibility of PG&E completing the entire construction process while the case stalls in appeal.
â€œIf they finish it and store the rods there, then what recourse do we have?â€? ZamEk queried.
By the time the nonprofit group filed the motion early the afternoon of July 5, Jeff Lewis, PG&E spokesman for Diablo Canyon, was unavailable to comment on the matter.
In the past, the company has argued that the courtâ€™s ruling ordered no direct injunction against PG&E and therefore the permit remains valid. Furthermore, it claims that a subterranean storage pool will fill by 2010, leaving no place to store on-site radioactive fuel rods while construction of the dry storage casks languishes in appeal.