On Monday, the California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on AB 65, a bill that would overturn California’s longstanding ban and open the state up to massive amounts of new nuclear waste. The bill would allow the construction of “small” modular reactors (SMRs) – reactors that have higher risks and produce more waste than conventional reactors – and would direct the Public Utilities Commission to create a plan to increase nuclear power generation in the state.
Since 1976, California’s Nuclear Safeguards Act has barred new nuclear plants unless and until there is a permanent solution for the disposal of the radioactive waste produced by reactors, which is dangerous for ten thousand generations. Today, there is still no such solution for this extremely toxic waste. Nonetheless, AB 65 seeks an exemption to California’s nuclear ban, allowing many new nuclear power plants to be built and setting the stage for a nuclear power resurgence in California.
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