An Initiative for A-Plant Safety
San Francisco Chronicle 3-12-74
A coalition of environmental and consumer organizations launched a petition campaign yesterday to qualify a nuclear power plant safety initiative for California’s November ballot.
The group, banded together as Californians for safe Nuclear Energy, said it’s goal is to make certain that nuclear p1ants operating now and in the future in California, meet “reasonable safety standards.”
Plans to gather 500,000 signature for the ballot measures were announced. at the coalition’s newly opened office here at 2 Rowland street in North ‘Beach and in Los Angeles.
Alvin Duskin. San Francisco businessman an d chairman of the coalition, told a news conference at the local headquarters that the atomic Energy Commission “has botched its job of regulating the nuclear power industry.
“There are serious disagreements at the highest level of the scientific community on safety. Until these conflicts are resolved, we should slow down nuclear operations.”
Attorney William M. Brinton, another spokesman for the citizens’ group, said enactment of the initiative would not mean a moratorium on the building of nuclear plants in California. “New facilities would still be allowed, but they would have to meet standards set by the state legislatures” he said.
The measure would require full compensation — instead of only partial payment as is now required, under federal law — for all personal injuries, property damage and economic losses resulting from a nuclear accident.
Among organizations involved in the effort to qualify the measure for the ballot are the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, California Citizen Action Group, Zero Population Growth and several shoreline preservation groups.
Courts have ruled that nuclear safety itself is an exclusive federal responsibility, so the coalition has based its campaign on seeking a law establishing the principle that California land can be used for atomic power plants only if “reasonable standards of safety” are maintained in their construction and operation.