Initiative proponent Assemblyman Chuck DeVore said, Â“California is the most energy efficient state in the U.S., but we run the very real risk of running short on power as we try to meet ambitious greenhouse gas reduction mandates. Modern nuclear power will allow us to add jobs while improving the environment Â– there are really no other options capable of generating the large amounts of power we need.Â”
Assemblyman DeVore joins an effort already underway by the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group, LLC to lift CaliforniaÂ’s ban on building nuclear power plants. The Fresno groupÂ’s president and CEO, John Hutson, said, Â“Building a modern and safe nuclear power plant in the Fresno area will bring thousands of high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues to the Central San Joaquin Valley. In addition, it will benefit all of California by helping to meet CaliforniaÂ’s growing demand for electricity.Â”
The proponents will need to collect about 500,000 signatures to qualify the measure for June 2008 ballot.
DeVore added, Â“The leading candidates for president, including Democratic senators Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama, as well as most of the Republican field, have publicly called for nuclear power to be considered part of our national energy solution. California should take the lead in boosting electrical production from clean and safe nuclear power.Â”
About 14 percent of CaliforniaÂ’s electricity comes from nuclear power.
California put its nuclear power ban into place in 1976 chiefly citing concerns over storage of spent nuclear fuel. Since then, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed the first dry cask storage installation at the Surry Nuclear Power Plant in Virginia in 1986. The technology is considered a highly reliable method to store spent fuel until such time as a long-term storage facility is operational.