2003-05-21 Petition to CPUC
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Application of Pacific Gas and Electric Company | Application 02-11-017 | | for Authority, Among Other Things, To Increase | (Filed November 8, 2002) | | Revenue Requirements for Electric and Gas Service | | | and to Increase Rates and Charges for Gas Service
| | | Effective on January 1, 2003. (U 39 M)
| | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Application of Pacific Gas and Electric Company | Application 02-09-005 | | Pursuant to Resolution E-3770 for Reimbursement | (Filed September 6, 2002) | | of Costs Associated with Delay in Implementation | | | of PG&E's New Customer Information System | | | Caused by the 2002 20/20 Customer Rebate Program. | | | (U 39 E)
| | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| REVISED PETITION TO MODIFY DECISION 88-12-083 AND REVISE APPENDIX C
SUMMARY Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to disband the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC) in Application 02-11-017/02-09-005. This Petition withdrawn in a stipulation filed April 24, 2003. PG&E's Petition was amended and a Stipulation proposed to continue funding for the DCISC until PG&E's next General Rate Case (GRC).
Unresolved issues of the 2001 San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOM4P) Petition were stipulated to be updated and filed May 23, 2003 and heard in this proceeding.
 In this Petition, the SLOM4P respectfully urge that the CPUC modify Appendix C of D. 88-12-03 to add an additional public member to the DCISC; revise the nomination process for DCISC membership; require the DCISC to have an office in San Luis Obispo County; and require active outreach by the DCISC, including the recording of DCISC meetings. History of the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace in CPUC Rate Cases Over the last 20 years the SLOM4P has participated only in those CPUC proceedings that involved issues surrounding ratemaking implications to the safe operations of PG&E's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant.
 A Commission Decision in 1989, D. 88-12-083, required that an additional assurance of safe operations at Diablo Canyon be provided by newly created DCISC. The SLOM4P submitted several pages of recommendations regarding the formation of the DCISC; however most were disregarded in the CPUC's Decision.
 The Commission decision left virtually all of the details of the DCISC functions, location, meeting times to the Committee. The first appointments to the DCISC were a mixture of academics and men who had spent their life supporting the nuclear industry. There was no precedent for a similar committee at other nuclear facilities. Few guidelines were spelled out in Appendix C of the 1989 Settlement Agreement; therefore, the formation of the first Committee and its non-local office and staff left San Luis Obispo residents disappointed and frustrated.
At the first DCISC meeting in 1991, San Luis Obispo residents attended by the hundreds, hoping to convince the DCISC to move its staffed office to San Luis Obispo County and provide some meaningful independence. From the beginning County residents have had no influence in the nominations or appointments to the DCISC. The public has little influence over what safety issues the DCISC will review. As community input had fallen on apparently deaf ears, disappointment turned to mistrust and little by little residents ceased providing recommendations and asking for follow up on issues of safety at Diablo Canyon.
For many years attempts by organizations in our community to reorganize the DICSC to increase public trust through CPUC proceedings have had no success. The SLOM4P made several attempts over the years to convince the CPUC there is a lack of public trust for the DCISC as currently formed.
 If neglecting community concerns is providing an "additional assurance of safety", the SLOM4P wonder just whom the CPUC's "additional assurance" is supposed to assure? Current History Demonstrating the Need to Reorganize the DCISC Now with terrorism, orange alerts, missiles from Korea capable of reaching our coastline, bankruptcy, energy uncertainties, and steam generator leaks, safety should be paramount for agencies with oversight at nuclear plants. This is especially true of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and its proposed high-level radioactive waste facility sited in San Luis Obispo's seismically active earthquake and extremely vulnerable coastal zone.
Due to the skepticism of the DCISC by community residents and Diablo Canyon employees, the SLOM4P have been filling the safety function envisioned for the DCISC. When a plant worker was fired for expressing safety concerns to PG&E, the NRC, and the DCISC in 1998, it was the SLOM4P that found this reactor operator legal representation resulting in a Dept. of Labor finding in his favor and a subsequent settlement with PG&E. When steam generator leaks during the last refueling outage of Unit 2 began and workers became sick, it was the SLOM4P that were called by five anonymous employees and it was the SLOM4P that followed up with the NRC's allegation department and the NRC's Office of Inspector General. None of these employees were interested in stopping nuclear power; they simply had safety concerns.
The SLOM4P took the lead in providing help to these individuals because our organization feared that if assistance was not provided safety concerns would go unreported to anyone. The SLOM4P is a non-profit organization with no office and no paid staff and yet it is to us that the community and plant workers turn when safety concerns arise.
At a recent NRC public participation meeting over 200 residents of San Luis Obispo attended. This was despite the fact that the NRC had denied full hearings on all safety contentions of local intervenors. Over 113 residents spoke to the NRC, sharing their concerns and asking the NRC to reconsider its denial. This is a community that cares deeply about the safety of a nuclear facility in our backyard and about proposed build up of high-level radioactive waste in our coastal zone. Again, the DCISC was not among the attendees.
Justification for the Modifications Requested
The SLOM4P will focus on events since the beginning of the "energy crisis" and heightened after 9/11/01 to substantiate our belief that:
* DCISC office and staff should be relocated to San Luis Obispo;
* The nomination and applications process should become a search for qualified experts who have some experience of safety concerns at nuclear facilities;
* PG&E should be removed from the nomination process;
* The DCISC mandate should be modified to include public outreach and should include filming for broadcast on public television;
* Membership should be broadened to include one or more technically competent public member whose responsibility is to take community interests into account.
A. The DCISC Office and Staff Must Be Sited In San Luis Obispo
As stated in the History section of this filing, the first community request was that the office and staff be locally based. By local, the community meant in San Luis Obispo County where residents and workers concerns could be discussed in a community setting with staff that actually live in our county and would be aware of local concerns. For no apparent reason, this reasonable request was denied. It is virtually impossible for the DCISC to develop a relationship of trust with this community when its staff and Committee members travel into the county three times a year to meet in a formal setting. The small and distant office in Monterey is entirely inadequate and inaccessible to the residents who are the closest neighbors and workers at Diablo Canyon.
 At its June 2002 meeting in San Luis Obispo, the DCISC was asked by the public who attended to file to be participants in PG&E's Application before the NRC to expand high-level radioactive waste storage at Diablo Canyon. The Committee's attorney, Mr. Wellington did attend. Unfortunately, he was wholly unprepared for the occasion, having not read any of the contentions filed by the San Luis Obispo Community Intervenors. While the County of San Luis Obispo, the Port of San Luis Harbor District, the California Energy Commission all supported full hearings on each contention, the DCISC staff took no position. Later the Nuclear Regulatory Commission disallowed participation by the DCISC, a decision it chose not to appeal. When called and asked why by a representative of the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, the answer was that the committee was short on funds and was using its staff time to fight PG&E's proposal to disband the DCISC in its General Rate Case. It is necessary for the CPUC to consider the fact that the DCISC was more interested in continued funding than challenging its right to oversee the public health and safety issues of a proposed nuclear waste facility in San Luis Obispo earthquake active coastal zone.
The Committee's time is spent with designated utility employees and management in formal and informal settings. This may increase the comfort level of the DCISC with Diablo Canyon proponents, but sadly this does little to create a sense of our community's concerns regarding safe operations or upcoming licenses.
It is important to remember that the "additional assurance of safety" was meant to be for the public who live by this dangerous nuclear facility. Even though the DCISC is willing to meet with the public, they have never proactively sought input from interested citizens and groups. In fact, a local resident attended his first meeting in February 2001 and felt intimidated by a Committee member; this led to a letter to then President of the CPUC, Loretta Lynch, in summer of 2001, which has yet to be answered.
 If a staffed office existed in San Luis Obispo, DCISC staff would be able to attend meetings regarding Diablo Canyon. Community residents regularly attend these oversight meetings to ask questions and relay concerns and we take our participation quite seriously. A recent "end-of-cycle' review highlighted the DCISC's absence and when a Sierra Club representative asked about the Committee's lack of attendance he was told that the "end-of-cycle" report would be sent to the DCISC.
 This is unacceptable. The DCISC must have a presence where the Committee staff can listen to the community's concerns and the community can review its follow up actions. "Members of the public would have an easier time to contact the DCISC members/staff directly, especially on sensitive matters and matters of a highly technical nature," Klaus Schumann, chair of the SLO Green Party stated in his declaration.
 To understand the fears of a community, an oversight committee must live day-to-day with those fears. Finally, while access to DCISC documents is available at the library at Cal Poly, the unavailability of parking and restricted hours of library staff make access to this information quite difficult. A staffed office in San Luis Obispo would be more accessible, not only for meeting with staff, but for reviewing Committee reports.
B. The Application Process for the DCISC Should be Reconsidered and Must Have Some Accountability
For several years the SLOM4P have unsuccessfully attempted to discover who at the CPUC oversees applications and reviews expenses for the DCISC. After many phone calls and conversations with CPUC staff, no one could identify the office or person in charge of instituting the application process once a Committees member's term is at an end. DCISC members remain "termed" and on the Committee for years. The process for new nominations to the DCISC is either a well kept secret or completely absent, either way it is time for the CPUC to take a serious look at its application and nomination process. The result is an eventual reappointment of current members that are willing to remain on the Committee, with little or no oversight as to how the public perceives the job performance of that member.
Again, I would cite Mr. Weisman's treatment by a member of the Committee as any example: "I had not sacrificed my time, as a concerned citizen, to be insulted or threatened." Furthermore, applicants are never notified when or if their applications have been received or the status of their application. It is highly irresponsible to have no one at the CPUC aware of who receives applications, reviews applications, determines nominees presented to appointers or reviews Committee expenses paid with ratepayer dollars. This lack of meaningful commitment and follow up by the CPUC regarding the DCISC is an affront to the ratepayers and residents of California and must be rectified at the earliest opportunity.
C. PG&E Should Be Removed From the Nomination Process to assure impartiality of the DCISC To have the utility creating the safety hazard be one of the three parties to review applications and send nominations to the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Attorney General (AG) and the Governor is akin to having Enron review applications send and nominations to FERC. In the interest of true oversight, this biased process should not be allowed to continue.
D. Membership On The DCISC Should Be Broadened To Include One Or More Technically Competent Public Members Whose Primary Responsibility Is To Take Community Interests Into Account. Public members sit on the California Energy Commission, the California Coastal Commission, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and a myriad of other California agencies to assure that public interest is represented. The SLOM4P fail to see why the DCISC should be different; in fact believe it is vitally important to have a trusted member of the public on this Committee, if in fact "additional assurance of safety" is really the DCISC's goal as established by the CPUC's Decision. Many technically competent potential Committee members reside in our region and the inclusion of a local resident could provide much needed public confidence in the DCISC.
 E. DCISC mandate should be modified to explicitly include public outreach. To its credit, last year PG&E began paying for the video recording of DCISC meetings for broadcast on public access television. This increased the Committee's viability and the public's knowledge of safety issues at Diablo. However, this filming should not be left to the whim of PG&E (or whoever may own Diablo Canyon after bankruptcy resolution). The DCISC has the opportunity to expand public outreach and some credibility with programs that are broadcast several times in several time slots to maximize its mission. This modification would cost approximately $2,000 per meeting and is an extremely cost effective way to reach the public.
F. Arguments for Modification of A. 88-12-083
* A staffed office in San Luis Obispo would allow enhanced access to DCISC documents.
* An office in San Luis Obispo would allow staff to attend oversight meetings regarding safe operations of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. The presence of DCISC staff would go far to assure residents who live near Diablo Canyon that the DCISC is participating and listening to important safety information. It would also allow local citizens to know that the DCISC is receiving the same information and make it easier to follow up on DCISC actions resulting from other agency oversight meetings.
* Removing PG&E from the nomination process will increase the perception that the DCISC is truly an independent body. An independent body will increase trust in the DCISC.
* Current review of the backgrounds of DCISC members lacks information on Committee members involvement regarding safety concerns at nuclear facilities.
* Adding a member from the San Luis Obispo community will allow that member to attend local meetings, be answerable to the community in which s/he lives and again increase trust.
* Video recording each DCISC meeting will increase the audience and the participation of San Luis Obispo County residents. As public access cable television airs local pubic meetings in different time slots and on different days, the likelihood that local residents will be able to understand the DCISC process and respond accordingly is enhanced.
SLOM4P deserves to be heard in this matter. Committee members are consistently appointed with years of experience in nuclear regulatory or industry matters, but missing on their resumes is demonstrating a sensitivity to public concerns. Residents have repeatedly asked that the Committee's office, currently located in Monterey, be transferred and staffed in San Luis Obispo County-the site of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. San Luis Obispo residents for years have attended hearings before the California Coastal Commission, the County Planning Dept., the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the NRC and rarely, if ever, is there a DCISC staff or Committee person in attendance. There is something inherently wrong with the location of the Committee's office, over 100 miles from Diablo Canyon. There is something irresponsible about an oversight agency that creates a DCISC for an "additional assurance of safety" then can't tell the public who is in charge and who reviews applications, nominations and expenses. This General Rate Case for PG&E is the perfect opportunity for the CPUC to rectify these shortcomings and prove to California ratepayers it intends to reaffirm and improve its commitment to providing additional safety oversight at Diablo Canyon.
The attached Appendix C shows the modifications requested in this Petition::
Respectfully submitted, Rochelle Becker San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace PO Box 164 Pismo Beach, Ca 93448 May 20, 2003 Attachment The SLOM4P petition was initially filed November 29, 2001. On December 6, 2001 the Chief Administrative Law Judge authorized the petition to be heard in the Restructuring Docket, Application A.00-11-038. SLOM4P Petition to Modify D. 88-12-083 (11/29/01), SLPM4P and Life on Planet Earth Petition to Set Aside Submission (2/24/97), Comments of SLOM4P and Life on Planet Earth (3/19/97), Comments of the SLOM4P, Consumers Organized for the Defense of Environmental Safety (CODES), Life on Planet Earth, and the Redwood Alliance to the Joint Motion to Adopt Proposed Settlement. Comments of the SLOM4P, Consumers Organized for the Defense of Environmental Safety (CODES), Life on Planet Earth, and the Redwood Alliance to the Joint Motion to Adopt Proposed Settlement, Recommendations for Attachment A of Appendix C. See footnote 1 Declaration of Pete Wagner, Ph.D., Conservation Chair, Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club Letter to Loretta Lynch, President of CPUC from David Weisman, Aug. 27, 2001 Declaration of Pete Wagner Ph.D., in Physics, Conservation Chair Santa Lucia Sierra Club, May 18, 2003 Declaration of Klaus Schumann, Chair SLO Green Party, April 25, 2003 See footnote 5 Declaration of Pete Wagner, Ph.D. in Physics, Conservation Chair, Santa Lucia Sierra Club