California "Nuclear Waste Act" (2012)

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A California "Nuclear Waste Act" (#11-0042) was approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 6, 2012 ballot.

Its sponsors, however, did not submit any signatures to election officials by the deadline.

If the initiative had qualified for the ballot and been approved by the state's voters, it would have:

  • Extended the statutory preconditions that currently applicable to the new operation of any nuclear powerplant to the existing Diablo Canyon and San Onofre operations.
  • Required the California Energy Commission to affirmatively find that the federal government has approved technology for permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste before further electricity production can occur at the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre plants.
  • Required the California Energy Commission to find that the federal government has approved technology for nuclear fuel rod reprocessing plants, relative to nuclear powerplants that require reprocessing of fuel rod.
  • Given the California State Legislature the authority to reject such findings as made by the California Energy Commission.
  • Required the California Energy Commission to find on a case-by-case basis facilities that will be available with adequate capacity to reprocess or store a powerplant's fuel rods.

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California's 2012 ballot propositions

Ballot title:

Nuclear Power. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Extends statutory preconditions, currently applicable to new operation of any nuclear powerplant, to existing Diablo Canyon and San Onofre operations. Before further electricity production at these plants, requires California Energy Commission to find federal government has approved technology for permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste. For nuclear powerplants requiring reprocessing of fuel rods, requires Commission to find federal government has approved technology for nuclear fuel rod reprocessing plants. Both findings are subject to Legislature's rejection. Further requires Commission to find on case-by-case basis facilities will be available with adequate capacity to reprocess or store powerplant's fuel rods."

Summary of estimated fiscal impact:

(This is a summary of the initiative's estimated "fiscal impact on state and local government" prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office and the Director of Finance.)

"Likely major impacts on state and local finances in the near term in the form of decreased revenues and increased costs, potentially in the billions of dollars annually, due to near-term disruptions in the state's electricity system and ongoing electricity price increases. The magnitude of these impacts would depend on the frequency and duration of rolling blackouts. Potential major state costs to compensate utilities for investment losses resulting from the mandated shutdown of their nuclear power plants. Potential avoidance of significant future state and local government costs and lost revenues in the rare event of a major nuclear plant incident."

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

External links

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