tv Today in Washington CSPAN July 14, 2012 2:00am-6:00am EDT
♪ >> great to see you here. i'm delighted to be here witus totalk about power in california andbyn omthcwe club. i'm greg nelson. today we talk about the future of nuclear power in america. for the first time in 30 years, new plants underonstruction in this country. two reactors in georgia and two more in soh carolina hs an ilidrs n an guarantees, president obama offered in 2010 for what he calls are coming new generation of sae, clean nuclear power plants come and go.
thefukushima disaster in japa tnistat mew foe hwedis commercial atomic tours come plans to extend operating life as well as built to do an. conversation will include lessons from a wide audience at the commonwealth club in san franciscand e expts aredayteog rgy commission on state liaison for the nuclear regulatory commission. on his right is that wine -- ma fertel at the trade anntorestior the nuclear nur industry. please welcome them. [applause] marv fertel, what's with you? why ould the united states tireaegpln
make sure we have an adequate reliable electricity supply because that's what nuclear plants produce. the other reason is we have a society move to a ceaner, less mission, paticularly lower envient,ucle igh wte o electricity that produces electricity 24/7 and produces no greenhouse gases or other air pollutants. so if you want reliable electricity, we want to ake a move to a cleaner environment onhibuvempnttinote o it. >> new nuear is intertwined with extending the life of existing nuclear power plants and we'll get into that. but what are issues that should be can you do when e iesi exngleowla cck >> are merely safety of the public and the fact that plans for a license for 40 years in the expected lifetime of all the component of the plan and to
extend thamasss ppeng fo ntheso a bested deeply into the condition of the plant, its ability to survive another 20 years to not endanger anyone. wi nuclear is ryhigh rd cb hri soedh hi going wrong. so if you're going to do that and we've had a lot of experience with the degradation of material, the almost whole and head of the davis ply and e prlemsith rend osin aanit n'eey a blade to old materials for having linkage in california to two year old materials. celialornia t question. td. dngh ttrl fukushima certainly reminds us
of what threats in active site as is japan. being california and iis the gayutiabau are types f emt investigate before policymakers make a decision to move forward. that's all we ask for in california and what we suggested the nrc they think about for a period not a bad idea for the people as el ildliooehns later. sjoberg ben, you cover the industry. what are the key issues? >> well, i think we are a nati divided and it comes to nuclear energy. ima,iyu hts going on within the nrc itself, following fukushima, the task force came up with recommendations, making plans face her across the country and
fapph thheey ithe mmonmiseower brooch with industries, more in the camp of any i. and not completely blew up hi year. the other comissis ed yao ulg. wn ugly debate within the congress and he said basically in that what the other comssioners were doing was putting the safety of the public amalcehe icoun cost -- pray should not be a fact here. i think the real issue right now is the old plans that we have in this county. the 104 react oris owih reonctafr 1974 and many of them have had
problems such as davis bessie were byron and illinois. and so, sa prettytobl stnd k there's so many advancements going on in the area of renewables that there's a lot of question marks around new nuclear power. >> marv fertel, troubled induqik i d agwth what some of joe said. clearly safety is some. also to be honest with you the plants are told in the way they've been described. everything in the nuclear plant that's moving,every pump,e reuc peeepg. of them are newer than what you have in your car or airplane. also, issues like both jane and joe reference the davis bessiern
prm tes t du wmlnt to asset here that's why they have the problem. the thing is you've got to do it. you've got to do which are supposed to do. you do that, the plant is a very safe operangpa. olyehwa jim said about unlicensed renewal. you've got to make sure it is safe. to be honest you have to make sure its economic theory to be safe you may decide it may not pay to go ahead and do that and may seetasm oi t wharin pltiro tke sure the plants are safe. >> 104 nuclear plants in the country. there's anotr 32 under review. so fr everybody who a a eaantss t un f oer 'saphail a new one, it is the nrc digging through it and proactively look for problem
is it technically thorough itookhe nrces nd ralro. ak 10 years to pitch he threw renewal process. what do you look at her systems our agdegradation programs, looking at things that are being looked at every day as part of e normal stuff. misou garohavetopi renewal. it does not say you can now operate 20 years to do whatever you want. they silicate chew every day t make sure your operating safely. they can shut you down whenever they wantt ver lli -fhi vien ie he requirements. job referred to the difference of opinion between the chairman and the other four commissioners and i would say the chairman called me right after the task force cameout. thigriy gse uld try g vers
age completely. everyone is working through a five-year program. but the chairman wanted to do and his colleagues didn't want to do was jp in and say we know we need to do, go do it. they ha eor se op there's 4000 people to regulatory commission with an awful lot of expertise. he wanted it to be fleshed out a little more with input fom not only ne, the stakeholders that concerns scientists and others and that's what e oean suueo ys report. >> jim boyd, he started off as an ecs stake, rhaps innovative regulatory agency and then it change tell us where the cs day. th as er s? >> different point of view. i agree with your introdution. what is wrong with the nrc?
well, they're not the we.ggressive agency they once my concern is that they don't seem to respond to issues are rapidly enough thoroughly enough. the point i want to make hm carn isese enateti o well, when relicensing finally came out in one utilities that will relicensing the others everything in about it,we began to raisehe issue of the additional seismic studies that should bedone the mostu af all, diablo canyon cost $500 million, $5 billion because they had to design, rebuild when they iscovered. dier offshore.ws
we suggested to the nrc is bad to look at at tv before you realize they said we do not consider seismic issues and is isbre r t be. se consider seismic issues every day so to speak beuse under the ongoing provision that get anything going on. if somebody bring something to her attention, we lk intoit. o cbaore chanti there also was we have been telling you for years, was published in its temewh ann former commissioner o bldtei california and a lot of questions were raised. what more do you need to know that you need to look at some pains and yet they didn't? so to me, california was on i
own to look at caifnia' esadsoego n'iney cve ndy nye else. i just think they're caught in a bureaucratic maze of regulations that have eliminated their youthful faker when they were against agencyta ol ur reory gsng on. >> what happened after fukushima? if they said we've got to pay attention tohe seismic risk that created this? >> they certainly dove in with what it represented ende their y hacmns sec ta pof the recommendation process. i cannot speak at the certain time a they may know more with authority with regard to the seismic studies at california says need to bedn. atus dor fo wroti i vior wthe seismic at these they needed to be done.
but whether nrc takes at into account and relicense, that remains to besen. toveukmame yodo eng e oe watch? >> i think it's a big nrc. there's about 4500 employees in the nrc and i think we interviewed oae -- commissioner gascoigne is very proud of employees than he is a believer in nuclear power. but i think it's worth pointing out -- >> is also gone. but his concerni renhfe ea reals what will save and make it robust and a part of our energy future. i thk he really worries that we are -- in a bureaucratic way if you're at ag o
meyh naltof ashy comments, but i think he's really concerned that were heading towards some type of calamity here. but it's worth pointing out is that it's kind of an amazing story was happening in the entire wo. rm re hch has the same proportion of nuclear power in their portfolio, 20% as the united states are eliminating within the next 10 years and immediately took off line plans which are olderthan soynga different direction. germany is really important because they are mostly it came to california because germany is such an aggressive proram. nowhere else in the wod in term ctmentowards wa. itifrminust upeegohey had for the first time 50% on a sunny day in germany the entire nation
was powered by solr power. so of ourse there's reliability but tl htsolarpe fhe in how serious they are about replacing the power. there also playing $12 billion into the electricity grid to improve their abily to have bis. reliable solar wind nussilel where if we were to replace some of these plants, where l of a sudden we're living in a world where were totally dependent upon gas and coal, i don't think the evidence actually bears th mfregtng and they build great cars and products. should the u.s. to a germany is doing a power? >> now, and to be honest, it's partially corrt. befoer ddeso
ded one pe the plant for another decade that was pre-fukushima. they impose tremendous tax on utilities to do that. they were going to generate billions of euros in taxes and that's why they were going to do it oillot rcve ih their activity. merkel's party lost a very big state election almost immediately and immediately made this may be a good decision for germany, the certainly a political decisionn what they thuyleleci be the only sunny day in germany. it's not known for sun. for solar to do it there and i'm a fan of solar. germany is not the bt place. if they don't spend te boney'tal d. wa o t pof mix. they don't operate all the time. we need electricity all the time. that's one of the things that gets lost in the debate.
there'no we should ever operate where it shoulbe allowed to continue operating. fo society if you're not electricity. 2 billion people is no electricity in the world. they are not living a lifestyle in california, new york or even south carolina. nt eeimdw nartsnebl d yt etovi electricity. >> host: marv fertel, were talking about nuclear power. are there gas fire jim boyd and joe rubén and g dton. les cobc nt atndy rn dng to prevent fukushima. >> there's a lot of good lessons coming outf fukushima, but there's three really big important things that havecome ou m dismsiheer goirnhtis
without. if the design basis threat. excerpt for the appropriate assays in the plant layout reflects t design basis. if you have a small near flo condition,on't putdels r ch ite basement and not watertight room so you can lose them. if you get it right, do the layout right. even if he did all of that right, you have to be prepared for something that could take bee 'st uso youroe,aco wainte caller at where the used fuel is. so make sure you get back. the third thing is make sure you consider how many units are at the site. the indusy and the nrc. sec and flooding to what you do to loss of power. we think and i think they believe to the smartest thing we can do to deal with the ac power
has actually have a flexib concept where ehv s pm lone. rne o getting water into the pool and the we have offsite capabilities to calm and enhance that over time for the long-term. diesel generators on ucks brigpowerndai site.? >> loads of diesel on site. when we look at its mobile equipment on site. diesel driven hookups into the veel in other places that we know we can get to that if we uldn't get a one-way become in anotr. af9/nef concerns was whether the plane had to land? what was different was the way we make everytng prettyrigid. gethe wer yor. idknhehene d ant over the jet
fuel would go. which you had to do was be flexible. we basically did thatfrom the standpoint of dealing with the aircraft. but we didn't do it as robustly looking at other ass, od wedothe s. cttaa onrn om1 be honest explaining it dramatically. twice that's the greatest immediate benefit from a safety standpoint. >> how much of this disparity happiday ust l om p wth ar t i? >> this is happening today. five or six pieces of equipment are the order. the industry committed at the end of lach to have ordered all the equipment they think they'll need for what we call inle tndthye d i site. we look at regional centers to bring more equipment into the site. i do want to downplay the other set the nrc has us doing this for s what counts for seismic and flooding.
pralonth sizeim's th make and flooding design pieces right now was part of this. i would actually, jim, not propose and be thought of license renew. but we needis prosst whyot information from a flooding hazard or seismic hazard next to my nuclear plant i ve to worry about the chemical plant having an accident and affectinthe nuclear plt. hodo i do with the n sfie?ee hadaway do with what time and stuff like that? that's the process that is the right process. the wait 10 years for license renewal. you need to do in real time when aabinormation bces >>b etalnis anh ti about new discoveries. it's not been up for renewable
yet. so, where should nclear seismic w ita awihde mars that seismic should be considered all the time, but nothing was happening there. you can't go other 10 or 20 years without oking at that subject. rightnw ilo cn,h ofre going to be through a process of getting permission steady. diablo canyon filed 14 years i rndteo r nshie gh s sht judgment and frankly were not anti-nuclear. we're just a little concerned about behavior of some people. so you've got to remember, i us anaes of three liquor
storllhetm. ve ey,an gsn mother nature and a solid system. technogy gets old. we've been waiting for years for a new type elegy. things were done on weather. you've got human team gd rahe a. we make mistakes as humans and then mother nature is totally unpredictable throughout my entire lifetime in terms of potential. when you put those three things together, you better be darn sure you've covered every single base that ihh sconwsw'ot b too good recognizing the risk. as i said e4, the payoff has incredible risk. if you're going to use nuclear, you better makeisoof yake sio eethi. other things. the nation has not solved the waste problem to this dy.
for the nation embarked on nuclear power, the prose was toe upit fit li t ho thoe e tis. were still keeping it all in tight at the plant. some of us aren't comfortable with that. the other thing is cost. the cost of the plants is tremendous in so you have to do pohal ieyhp iovennml protection that you need? that all has to be analyzed all at once and we need a better stem. >> marfertel, jn brex i opor of the lear power plants in the country. i'd like to read you a quote from john road. live me state unuivocally that i've never met a nuclear plant i did ke. hangd tha lels eueuiatht
ulilke snw i'm the nuclear then you will make better results is nuclear. it just is an economic and it's not economic within a foreseeabl timeame. is john breaux rn? eie hn nigor fact we're building plants in the northeast, two in south carolina, two in georgia and the regulated market. their public utility commission thenoerasidt tuga vchno d 'st i fegt. but they don't want to be locked into natural gas for the next 60 years not knowing what the price will go, so they want a diversified portfolio. therefe shall he not a merchant maret. >>laha htm mr try has a merchant market. recently merging the market, competing with other sources.
>> if i'm in a regulated market they s arwatus. cuerwu ayndas v tt to do with what the price of electricity from that plant is. so they can take a long-term view. a nuclear plant is 60 year asset. weo veierto. gd might have -- >> originally a 40 year period >> let'salk about that, too i e for 20 years been trying to find over the 40 years came from. the best two answers i've heard is that what they ed to amortize investments over him asite rad-best answr isa mmuticosise r licenses.
methane at a nuclear plant is designed to stop working in 40 ars. as i said earlier, all the moving parts are in program, azeedn e, yreveive. life because that's how long it is in the nrc says you've got the license. but nothing is designed to fail. aine i enlo leave ina lit 'ste aa raatno we had in reality that. >> well, i sh it's going to say, i'm going to go backhe eronal bls otna, n gs technology. this seemed to know the plant that we call songs, the
materials problem brout on by design or mateial ailure ad ra-- >> oerplrs diego. >> and yet prior to that come the plane seemed to be very good. but i am aware because of my responsibility that for years we have safety culture problems and not lant. strot erewoe a descendent of the safety culture in that plan. we found people try that the data come at things not being done, and things happening and complacency sentencing. i agree with mars. you've got to doi h. g oab ch and balances to make sure people do it right constantly. brightenp the system provides for that and everybody gets it when mother nature may provide and probably undersized wos terhesd ow ha fs, amnd have you, so it has to be done right.
some of the old plants are on the coas you need to worry about seismic warnings that were consided. jobubin higoo. sticauth a report this year. not counting the ones -- >> near misses, things that nt wrong at the plant, didthe d el hebewse under different circumstances or if there were a number of factors that have been at the time. i just want to point out a couple of thigs. one message is sent t get across because i don't think it's coming acss o h tg atrac y 's g n coy terms of a real battle over challenging the whole notion of federal preempton. when you look at new yorkstate,
originallyobertnedyi o'ba longtime critic of the big environmental movement against it. the goveor of new york, andrew cuomo and his battle there, eric lat t safety, and also foreseen part of the renewal process the plant has to undertake millions of dollars of improvements. mnts,orncme atgiur said about their plant or, which was recently renewed because of the team tritium and a cooling tower. massachusetts, governor duval patrick a hrecy agait the objection of commissioner yass to a couple weeks ago.
and so, this is worth pointing out cause this is where we're headed in california. states with a faceo 0nw d hihisoio co riue in the state. can i talk a little about my experience looking at seismic safe? >> let's talk about california, thunwipeng t resof leigow 'st ca whether san onofre will come back online at a lower cacity. the city of irvine recently said nearby they want that not renewed and be wound own tposblin peresa onofre? sam boyd. >> that's a good qestion. nobody knows exactly what is wrong than the cost of repairing blood is drawn may sigifit.
iaie,e rat the level predicted to operate. will it operate at enough available to generate revenue to pay off the bonds. and last but not least and mo important of course is we better take ahrrloa edh pl a erngocd that. the steam generator was supposed to last and had to be repaced and said they could replace him pay it off even within the current license. it wn't a foot in the or o rensthomop them t seen. we concentrated on seismic duty. we also asked for the same study to be one offshore san nor g no y aha scedfuofhe diablo canyon. it was multiple agencies in the second fault a few years ago.
the federal agency are arguing ether this is a significant find or not. dinegois relto iould she not, therefore everybody should be assured that were relatively safe before the decision is made to continue operation of facilities and they can be er af swn've e shor major terror because as i said before, the risk is incredible. you can hunt some disasters. if you mess a plant, just looka a nod fukushima. >> scullymarv fertel, could san innsthwioren off the? rmn, wi sa
oun re chin pointed to culture problems which are very visible within the nrc. it was clear they were all over them. the thing i can tell you is i saw this tenet eelya he s caver g akres sa st out.wol from the safety culture standpoint that's at the people of california can feel about if there's a change culture led by the eo. nofe wstdtrd s it's >>he n st said it wil be a really toughdecision. take the man at his word for doing the right team. the second thing is fukushima siic is uimsanll downpyed action. limit the something in perspective. there's almost 20,000 people dead in japan from the earthquake in the synonymy. there's no one bad, no one
injured and no one havng hat doo atsneahudth eyl owe f kuima. some of that is fortunate that wind is blowing up sure most of the time. but what we saw here on tv the whole ti was a terrible accident and it airplay an mig,00ds talngabot10 th was the synonymy and the earthquake. the stuff washing up in alaska is not fukushima. it is from the millions of tons of material, otoe esba ashore or washed out to sure from that terrible tsunami they had. also the actual fukushima plant had no problem with the earthquake. whilukmateafely from the
synonymy, okay? we had an earthquake in virginia last year. itas bigger than the design basis of the north and a plan. 11 miles from the plant. it is nothing from a safety dpa was reviewed by the nrc and by the agency. there was no damage to any part of that plant for the safety standpoint. >> jim boyd. >> another nle plant in japan, the lgest ulear frn hq sal years ago. japan is -- they know they're an earthquake zone. they have a design basis to allegedlhandled the situations. signicdgeis plantuffer at restarted for a man's inability to get it right. >> just on that gem, and jim is
right. there's seven units they are. it suf some dama. teosou too emusag t ll ioutee. all safety systems work fine. the plant shutdown safely and maintain safe shutdown. a lot of damage the planet. >> i don't think this is the thint , w, tehv poor meltdowns and we've now had two of them and they're all different and th're all different scenarios. and so it's really sobering and th have been muchqcrn e nc e people in the field say they should be happening that's of concern. i just want to talk about what we found in our research in terms of safety. you like it speaks to whe osiissoinatd un me. basically the story with diablo
canyon, there's two faultlines primarily in play there. found about for some time that's thteoelhmies fshoe basically half a kilometer from the reactor itself. so this was discovered by usgs scientistsin 2008. ,njulvtoind troublingaboutta owyogee with this or not. i do not think in a matter-of-fact and pretty certain pretty certain about this. if fukushima hadn'happened we wouldn't have any studies becae s the aredd that planned fan sen cal aramento that channg. i was there days after following fukushima. i hearthe nrc's testimony and theyere saying the plan is
ve enci saying we trust the seismic safety staff is telling us. i'm holding here in my hand -- this is what kind of haunts me. i'm holding in my hand here be fhi when pg&e was dealing with the aftermath of the significance of the default line is something we discored in the course of our vestigation. the seio nor msanlo fea cal berkeley professor presented basically okay we don't think that this fault line, what he said, connects with that fall. we don believe tt ar ut heic olo the significance of that appear but he showed this site.
purported as -- the point is that the level ai e hlvwco potentially cause cord damage at the plant. you can clearly see it. he downplayed that is that it wasn't that much above it a frequency which doesn't buy much important. so would be sgni >> the point is also that the nrc when we spoke to them, i went to texas and the type to the head of region for a told us basically, es,wfundta oat utire in witm o is safety. so since then there's been political pushback and we are seeing studies move forward. but i feel culturally it's troubling that i find it trouing hat'oia
aisy ntt t d t f risk. >> board we have the studies had apl tineen infukushima? er commission and this agency has pointed out issues. they don't get a lot of a lot of traction without legislature unfortunately. i haven't been a aaty. e a mietr gior sam blakely and senator phd seismogists, et cetera, et cetera drive this issue that crazy in the california legislature an against heher energy beud ierulh liialde been pushing it. i am not anti-nuclear. i am for what is good for my
native state. i'm a fourth-genetion californian and a 50 yearrce re. da wting for the technology all my adult life that we as humans and do i feel ag wcoue repul and agencies are regulators will get a manner and do what they have to do. >> we're discussing nuclear power with jim bod, marv elc pe ste ce fnvgater urnalism. i want to pick up on somhing of the casualties from fukushima and ask job rubén and ji boyd ..mething.
innia.ncob o e do. renewable is job two, ask then only clean generation is the third tier. so it's not a debate of the safety and health aects of nuerl a werl uzand don't know enough about people who mineranium and how they have been affected and look at what we did to all those soldiersuring the years we tested above ground, and exposed them- look at the years a ars yrsfnowlge ueft explosions in japan, about what happens to the human species when it's subjected to this type of radiation. do you want to take that gam until do you want to take that risk uil yessf to h% i'toi
>> we're going to move to the audience question. coal is more dangerous than nuclear? >> nuclear is a impresssive technology. 16% of tower pow in california cos fr it. dti aside the nle air pollution, it's clean carbon. there's a lot do be admired about nuclear power. i'm not antinuclear either. what i'm about and goo jal is isut ire pli is iord. we have this incredible example here in california because we're going to have this debate over the next decade and that's should these two plant licenses b d have one in sacramento which was shut down because it's a publicly owned utility, shut down in 1989. i think that -- the utility
there,acmeo metropolitan it distrt,onul kebeir ctoer that are 20% lower than pg&e and other impressive things about smud. and i spoke to people there and they feel this is because they were able to get off this -- th eeehe level over renewables 23% and they're on track to have 38% renewable by 2020. th hanyeoeincrediy ireiv die from coal or how many people die from nuclear it's what it smart and makes economic sense. what are the real safety issues involved? t, is coal more dangerous than nuclear. >> i'm thenomic t napo be questions. dan is one of the most respected
energy experts in the world and the td fortunate magazine nat natural gas will be the default fuel for new electrical generaon going forward. th facs, u to g e was against nuclear. now it's greenbacks. the cost of natural gas is so cheap it's making nuclear a hard sell. >> making anything but gas a hard sell. now you have friends of t earth and sierrabin soe'll sha toldot gas in our country for a while. there's also no question that two and a half hour grace won't stay $2.05 gas. >> natural gas. >> that's price g up. let's go toiestns puc life. i like the technology. but since yasuo talk to seem mas i've been paying atttion to anrn h b ctid, and -- fukushima
ar water reactors and maintains they should be shut down. but since we're talking california, i'd like to bring tht w vouforum, santa sna meer ely memory of mine on tv watching a newscaster flip on the switch and turn on the lights in ventura county. five or six reactors there in the santa san ntai twn alleandoo park. three reactors hat meltdowns and nobody talks about it. it was ignored back in 1959 because nobody particularly cared. if we're talking nuclear energy in california, secretaryues nt sands b ght to the forebecause we have had nuclear damage, and nobody knew. one of the local hospitals had a
floor dedicated to cancer from those employees. >> thank you. let'go boomho ha time. jim. >> i have no knowledge. >> i'm aware of it. it's not something that has been in the dialogue on a re basis. they were small but there w a exapeutand you w lonti a hopefully we're a lot better at doing things but some people paid an ultimate price for that and they're still cleaning it up and it's still offimitsnd do m y agot pnt wlosed ndas e raon b cnn the nick of time when earthquake projects began to show that would be a tough sell. so, the gen1 stuldnd
n2reeaithn california and promises of what they might bring us. humans learn lootnd mbe you can do things right. >> the next audience question. >> i lik to pnt out tha 'sicly cre t nuclear reactors produce electricity. they produce heat. the heat is used to producehe electricy. >> that's true. >> boiling water. >> many ways of producing -- some people call it t most peivayoilat othhi rs produce that is -- it was not mentioned at this discussion, is the nuclear waste. it's the major product the plants produce, and that poses a al, 'sthe- not the case that nuclear racketers are an 24/7. they have to be shut down to
replace core fuel and those shutdowns can last at lea a month if you're lucky, af tlasen benestdn for -- well, as we have seen in japan, for months if not years. >> point taken on the waste. we have skated over the waste and didn't give it just. it hasn't beenolved. the federal government is not lfillingtsigio bu ctredosor te gng get in the way of more nuclear? >> one to mention on the waste problem is to compliment your senior senator, senator feinstein, for leadership in the senate. apnscess t wln legislation in an ohe year to begin the process to move waste out of humboldt, certainly from all the shutdown sites, quickly, and to create a consolidated storage site. yr ttominesti, we ra a 200eton
rom the 100,000 mega watts or so we have. it's very toxic stuff you have to handle really well. it's not a lot of material to take care of. ne wht be movingppion forward on licensing or seeing if we could license a repository in nevada, which i think most people believe probably could get licensed. so, we'll see. i have confidence to honest, thathe senate,ed sor a program in place passed on the blue ribbon commission report that the president commissioned and that came out in january of this year. >> quit comme. i'm a political scienti and li wonk m t leitheuc was more of a political decision than a scientific decision. put it in the middle of nowhere place where there's a nuclear facility without paying
attention to all the answers awo all questio a then nevada stt r again i think in terms of fining a site. >> next odd audience question. >> i'm bobould p ys for public responsibility. >> i want some people to addrs, one thinghat was said was, i think really minimizing what the greenhouse contritions of nuclear plants are becauselthoug when operating they're not produ carbon dioxide there's a great deal of foss ill fuels used in the construction of such plant and we have to take a life cycle approach of health toward uranium mining and consider for ane see in terms of the flooding in the missouri river,
the vulnerabilities of the calhoun reactor to backup systems andhe like, and i ink we need to be able to talk abouthe fact weon't havehe diersheor wenre have seen in fukushima. hundreds of thousands of people live within 50-miles of nuclear power plantshat our own country suggest would be the appropriatevacuation for our ow citizens adi in of ortseai s 9/11 about the deficiencies of laboratories to be able to diagnosis nucar injury, to have the basic facilities and personnel being able to address this issue. so i think we have to be ver earhahe almp a. tnkhe proliferation issues that are -- >> we have three there. thank you. >> so, we're not ready for nuclear disaster, marv fertel. >> i think first of all we' dog everything to make sure
nua.ally wdonave -le disaster. post-9/11 there was a lot of dirty bomb discussions and learning about nuclear plants. so i would say we're readynd we're going to be any better because you're taking lessons learn ron notust fukushima accident. we revised the nuclear plan and we'll be ready but those are real issues you have to address iliyclehe fl way. elutnt nuclear power plants. >> it is significant, and i -- professor jacobson from stanford that raised this, the cdle to gravanys sulbe anisin wulo itveg you can make a fair comparison. i think nuclear still comes out
the cleanest in terms of climate change but weigh if with the risk. and there are consequences and ma be plicea eson ew me of. >> let's have hour next audience question. welcome. >> thank you. patricia port. i think we need to bear in mind that so many of thearthquakes ported from all over the w by theeoo sy visl unown faults. >> jim boyd, does seem new faults appear and marv fertel, the one in maryland i u cal icasre earthquake proof, a soft spongy pile of dirt. now we discovered the whole man tell of the earth is made up of cracks in the crust and this, that and the other and it's something to be concerned about. imov dramatically, and
you're going to go through the process of weighing the knowledge. the key thing i to use all the technology you have at the moment you have it, don't drag it out over time as someeople i think are guilt ofng i to renan the awe ul get. and then make the decision. >> should the nuclearegulatory commission pay more attention to earthquakes? >> they are paying a lot more attention to it. toe hones ter theat sed w liked to see. they are paying more attention. i would not care whether it's part of renewal. ke i said we ought to learn to deal with new information in real-time. not make it part of re newell or dotnou g i cycle. dig outt' nind tig o w t hdle it. >> should a plant like san onofre be relicensed with great
uncertaintive about the seismic risks for the plant? >> think they'll resolve t seismicisksed 3 udie ty' d a aisy'o, they'll look and see -- doesn't matter if it's relicensed. youould have that come up the day after its relicensed and you would want them to look at and not care they just had another 20 year licse >>gr ond ncn seismology and we're getting better in understanding but i don't think there will ever be -- there will always be a gre deal of uncertainty around places like san onoray - sannofre a , is political judgment whether or not we might want to say this plant has been in estence for 40 years, we probably wouldn't have built it if we knew it was right underneath a large earthquake fault. or naps it's go to retir wihoislng toive
nk it has to be appraised serious debate as to wheer it should go forward. >> joe rubin is a reporter with the center for investigati jonalism, m fertel. let's have our next audience questions. >> john hirsch at uc berkeley. i'm encouraged that at lea one person mentioned rl conrn about theastessnd i bau it is potentially a hazard above and beyond everything else we have been talking about. but what troubles me about the entire discussion is the word nd of id t icsfleci neon i tnk i design for nuclear plants that was settled on a long, long time ago, as a universal design for all of the nuclear plants made
in the u.s., there have been advances that he beenrote 'vea ppl come and talk about the plutonium reactors and ways maybe to generate nuclear energy in the absence of th use of water. the'sere inheg goi on th forward-looking attitude torts -- towards it. >> so new technology. are we inside a box? >> john, thanks for the comment. the plant bng bltn geaoutharola m aanecolies an basically they've got a lot more passive systems. ifa fukushima type acciden happened with those plants, they were there in japan, the plants woul basically be able to go 72 hours with nohe acoo g30 d epg the huge fuel pool cool.
so the problem you had in talk to seem marks if you had the designs we're building now, in our country, would have probably never diged to the accident itions bau toake actions, and it's because the u.s. design now is the most advanced. can they get more advanced? absolutely. >> that's talk about small modula reactors. uranium.ungte going to produce less waste. >> small modular reaors there's a lot of interest in our country and international. a country without large grid, uon wanut a welant, i nuclear, coal, or anything else. bill gates is looking at a very advanced reactor, it jumps well beyond where everyone is looking but he is going to build it in china because he can't get
through the regulaty approval i'otur thahat w ihinkeng tee our country the department of energy has a solicitation out right now to jointly fund -- won't be real joint, be about a third them and twohirds the compies -- two new small th o a ere's four companies bidding that and we'll see writ goes but it might be a breakthrough not just for the our country but a big export opportunity. >> my name is angelo and i live sra. so f - m missed something. i don't thick -- don't think i dozed but all of the vulnerabilities you mentioned have been natural inature. tsunami, fau lines, et ceter whatbo u wheo wa t do serious damage as
far as the infrastructure is concerned i wouldn't go attacking wind mills. >jim boyd, you mentioned human vulnerility. wh really encourage the nrc to look at the design basis threats, design criteria, and maybe make them more ridge edin some --i iome hi tchogal refki nuclear plant are far beyond the real threat of causin harm. it would take lifetimes of ca getin to slice through d e etngey worried about to the c. they seem more vulnerable and what have you. i'm more concerned about a dirty bomb, more concerned about out the nuclear materials running nothin to doitucarhat has
riggva into a birthday come device than a nuclear plant. so if i was a terrorist i would blow the switchyard up in a nuclear plant and scare the daylights out of a million people can there would not be a radiatn at m oni at n - for attacking nuclear power plants i think in terms of, we want them or we don't want them. ere are a few vulnerabiliti. toepseacd to spruce up theble hn the spent fuel pools in some cases and i don't think that's the thing to worry about, in spite of all the hollywood movies that make it a threat. >> marv ferl,etra u o fur la underway. will more get built in florida and south carolina? >> we have been saying in three
or four years -- prefukushima -- that in our country because of the recession and shell gas and edroffn ecic ma, sawourlants by 2020. we think there will be more in the pipeline for construction. there's ten more getting their licenses from the nuclear regulatory commission. but i don't think we'll see a lomore than four operating by 2020. i do thinkou'll s mor ipinforicsi d uc b 2020. >> joe rubin? america will build some new ones and continue to relicense the existing ones? >> i don't know. i can't say what's gd for ic t that it's -- there's a lot of -- the issues around nuclear power still existed. it still needs loan guarantees from the federalovernment. an t ls donsuran companyat will,
$22 billion which would come from nuclear power industry. so, -- and we saw -- talko seem marks i don't -- fukushima, i don't know the entl ct eoeayalf aus to answer your question, i think we're a nation divide. not surpringly. we're preddette polarized society and some states are mor otrs.dly to nuclear per than fruig yew h until the waste issue is solved. >> you talk about subsidy issue and the liability issue. >> first of all, on ln guarantee. no plant has a loan guarantee. one company is talkingit wld re cf cuoney.ses t the risk to the government is zero. it's not a project financing-it's on the balance sheet of georgia power which has
been around for 100 years and is solid a company. on insurance, bically y h emption haveoav suucar, because it's covered by the price anderson law. so you don't need it. i don't need it. joe doesn't need it, because it's excluded from a requirement because you're covered by what we have to do under price derson catookigt certain things of subsidies that aren't. >> we have end it there. i' gg,hank yoroingoyd, and j od [applause]
ey'remal mard the f juad nnetained since 1962 wn iowa adopted a retention system for judges. she was invited to speak at the university of arizona law school in january. aricotuare 35es myamestuart and i'm a second year student and the vice president of acs, an organization -- withach event educnaxpier hopes enr coeg l today we are extremely pleased to hear justice marsha ternus. e w a cef fhe e ao the iowa supreme court in 1993, and was
elected chief justice in 2006. becoming the first woman to serve as chief justice. during her tenure on the court, in april of 2009, the iowa supmeourt ia dn h ansl dre same-sex marriage restriction unconstitutional. making iowa the third state in the country to allow same-sex marriages. a year later, the three justices up for rettion were orzeamnoedy em fice. justice ternus was one of three justices removed. arizona state legislature has nsideredlot approvalo prs.ec stnfd he issues. please join me in becoming justice turnus. us
campaign against the justice was the iowa supreme court's unanimous decision 19 months earr vn, cls iowa's defense of marriage act violated the equality rights of same-sex couples under the iowa constitution. the events in iowa provide a concrete conte for our discussion on judicl nde,he se by 'olit sized judicial elections. so this giant would like to talk about the decision and its aftermath an the larger context of the critical role of an independent jew dh ray in bl. feapha quote, the complete independence of the courts of justice well be central in a constitution th limited legislative authority. he recognized, and i'm going slightly parapashi
enudry ecsa tua rights of individuals from the will of the majority, who may wish to opress a minority group in a matter incompatible with a constitutial provision. en indidlsyherstood that in the urons tig e in the constitution, are preserved and protected. one would thick we should all share an interest in preserving the supremacy of the deee oth crtntegritytecting of the courts. these values were that shared by me persons and organizations who opposed the retensionf three members of the iowa supreme court in 2010. the stated purpose o the campaign agast the justices s s a messanow d aosheoury, ignore the rule of the people at their peril. a message of retaliation and
intimidaon utterly inconsistent with the concept of a judiciary c with t onliphd titi rhtsf ze. before we can really understand how destructive such a message is to our democracy, it's important to have shared understanding of the foundation of our system ofusti tahehe op toom kw, think you're all law students or lawyers or law professors -- america's systemf justice is based on the rule of law. the rule of law is a process of governing by laws tha are because the name rules are applied the same manner to everyone, the rule of law protects the civil, political, economic, and social rights of all citizens, not just t rights of theostoc porize the most
powerful. applying the rule of law is the sum and substance of the work of the courts. so when we speak of judicial independence, we are referng to a judiciary committed to the rule ofinped, out influence, including personal bias and preference. iowa, like other states, created a government under the rule of law when the citizens adopted a constitutionhat set for the the fdamental rul and princi thawou in ft, thiowa constitution expressly states, quote, this constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. and it goes on to say that, quot any therewith shall be. so i these constitutional provisions are given meaning by the courts becae the judicial branch is responsible for resolving disputes between citizens and their government.
sometimethesdisp ilude a tizes clm that t vernnt vlar citios. in such cases it is the duty of courts to determine the constitutionality of the legislature's acts. courts are guided by the people's statement in their constitution tt any law cotiond.hhe us regardless of whether a particular result will be popular, courts must protect the supremacy of the constitution by declaring an unconstitutional statute invalid and uneven forcible. b pteing t t cstutn cis hahe freedoms and rights set out in the constitution will be preserved. in this way, judicl review serves as an important check on the legislative and executive bceerot oyngrope e bncf government, but also between the people and their government.
of course the people can always amend tir constitution to ensure its content and meaning asnd hamilton pointed out, until the people have amended the constitution, it is binding upon themself collectively as well as individually and n psumption seenra t oe ps prtive aar from it. so with this backgroun in mind let's turn to the iowa's supreme thas wugy peoplen barnuve in communities in iowa. i want to talk about these 12 iowans because people forget this lawsuit was about the lives of real people and not an abstract resolution of the
deba or ans - le read the description of this sides from the court's opinions. >> the plaintiffs are responsible, carrying, and productive individual, maintai important jobs are or retired meoflundcontribute bener l magecenalyst, bank agent, stay at he parent, church or gappist, piano teacher, museum director, federal employee, social worker, teacher, two retired teachers. key iowans,e dr o h barents, some of poster parents and they prize their liberties and live within the borders of the state with the expectation that their rights will be maintained and protected, a belief embraced b r at mot --nd adehe steoto o liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.
now,oing back to the opinion. despite the commonality share with other iowans the 12 plaintiffs are different from mose in oneway. members of their own sex. the 12 plaintiffs complies six same-sex couples who live in committed relationships. each maintains a hope of getting married one day. dseparnsre by ny t ia prior the supreme court's decision, iowa law prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in iowa. at that time and currently, iowa's marriag statute states, marriage is aiv ctrt ree sef iesab ofer other contracts, except as herein otherwise provided. one of these exceptions is iowa's version of the defense of marriage act. itrovides only a marriage eea mandem is
bad on the statute prohibiting civil contracts of marriage between persons of the same jennifer, the county recorder refused to issue marriage licenses to the six same-sex uples. these 12 iowanshenil a thounty recorder to issue the requested licenses and they claim the law limiting civil ntracts of marriage to one man and won william was unconstitutional and uneven rcib. equse iowans includedceeld he in the constitution when iowa bill a state. it provides in relevant part, the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen or class of citizens privileges which un eqllbengals. the iowa supreme court held that the state law limiting civil marriage to one man and one
woman violated the plaintiffs' equality rights under the iowa constitution. wh ca t rted nuusriles that flow from civil marriage to a limited class of citizens and there are over 200 benefits and privileges under iowa law accorded to married pso beca t iio innt with the constitution is void, the supreme court declared the finding statute void and granted the plaintiffs the relie they sought and ordered the cou untionestifn relyhe on obtaining a major license and was therefore obligated to issue licenses to theix same-sex couples who brought the lawsuit. of course, the story doesn't end there. ioonleiochaptnvves
aas a system that is somewhat similar to arizona's. we have a commission-based merit selection process for choosing judges known as the missouri plan. the process bins with 15emrisomssnateeppnt jualice, reviewing extensive information about each applicants background, education,rofessional skills and experience. after interviewing the applicant the commission submi the names qeddis heree mostighl rn,hereir ic the judge from the commission's nominees. the other aspect of iowa's merit selection process are the retention elections. in a retention election audge unsnoos andots oowhr otn jge fornoth term. in iowa, the term for supreme court justice is eight years. historically, polics had played no role in judicial
retention elections and iowa justices had notound i ssartoorm campa mmte to eage ndisin campaign in any manner. in the 2010 general election that followed the 2009 decision, three members of the iowa supreme cot were on the ballot for retension. weer fro petenti ectns bee of our participation in the decision, the justis on the ballot were targeted by a mississippi based group, afa action inc. persons supportg afas campaign against theuss havete constitutional role, quote, by declaring iowa to be a same-sex marriage state. interestingly, this claim was no based on a critique of t cot's lal analysis. e dr o nehat we had
misinterpreted the iowa constitution in finding the defense of marriage act violated the plaintiffs' equal protection rights. rather, the court was criticized pele,ndulg ntrywill of the law. this latter criticism was particularly troubling because the court made an effort to clarify the narrowness of its decision. iseneeg cacearlier the law at heignstiu of rriage. the court pointed out this distinction in its opinion, and i would like to quote fm our opinion. our constitution does not permit ree regious a government to enring government avoids them. the statute at issue in this case does not describe a definition of marriage for religious institutions. instead the statute declas
coat ruleshat civionact, pursuing our task in this case we proceed as civil jumps, for a removed from the debate of religious clerks an focus on the stateicsi cls entitled to secular rights and benefits associated with civil marriage. as a result, civil marriage must be judged under our constitutional standards of equal protecon, and not under regious dtrines r t lis ew o iiv >> after holding iowa's constitutional required that the state accord the same marital status and benefits benits to bh opposite-sex and smacks mi couples we pointed o in our deskhat,te relus tholre unaffected. and we went on to say, a
religious denomination can still define marriages a union between a man and a woman. notithsg fac t religious beliefs or practices but substantial opposition to the justices' retension came from individuals who believed the crt vioted god's law or tural. thulit -- pulpits to advocate for a no vote on the retention of the justices, which many people did. one leader against the retension declared of the election, iowa voters had de, quote, god's willy snding t t erryo dene god's institution. one has to wonder if the persons campaigning against this even read the decisn because, as i have pointed out, the court expressly avoid redning the
reliistuon . our opponents also resorted to an inaccurate and alarmist message about the impact of the decision. maia.t a gl spoayhe was about liberty, asserting the court legislated from the bench. it said if they will do this for marriage all your libertied are up for grabs. advertisements reenforced the idea tt the isupreme ctam orts forle in a television ad sponsored by iowa for freedom, which is the afa group, program, in iowa, the national organization for marriage and the campaign for worng families, the nartor told viewer if c rine ia, i tres we hold dear are safe from judicial activism.
of course a simple reading of the decision shows that the ia he daragctedomt away n's unsuspensional to the contrary, the civil rights of same-sex couples to the secular benefits that flow from the civil contract of marriage were upheld. moover, the views of individuals anrelious stitis w fa bhe dis eigi f t fine the religious institution of marriage as only between o man and one woman was expressly preserved. but the campaign against the justices was about more than rnamx mri ec an oe wef the court itself. some critics of the courts' opiniomind it the court had n power or authority to review the constitutionality of statutes. this view cro
alw ofhe nstutionality of statutes is one of the most important functions of the courts in our republic. a function that the iowa supreme court had performed in literally ahousand ce ioto desi d ie already pointed out, judicial review is eirely consistent with our founding father' sion of the relationship between the three brans of government, at exan hil said, who th p o touo e a ofhe legislature contrary the constitution, the rights and privileges reserved to the people would amount to nothing. >> dealing with controversial issues has always been part of being auge. d cta p de mitof sis a healthy aspect of our democratic society. but what message is sent when a
retention election is used as a referendum on a particular court decision? whessa i shent i ntu w in fure will be called upon to make politically unpopular decisions? opponents of the decision arg judges must be held accountab to the people whent crt kes a decisiohee t l heesgey wea g was that judges should rule in accordance with popular opinion, even when that means ignoring the constitution. i read an article by a minnesota judge who responded t similar contti whis seion. it might sound good to have judges accountable to the people, but which people? should judges be can'table to the wh shout the loudest or ma the most threats thajgese a t
o,hat happens to the rights of the minorities? and what happens to a judge's responsibility to uphold the law and the constitution? wh a judge starts t worry about who the judge will please disease wh ring, tn eae a government based on law. >> just consider the united states supreme court's decision in brown verse board of education. if public opinion were the standa by whichld echaas wld ob h had a different outcome. court's decision in brown was unpopular with many, many people at the time, yet that decision is now universally respect. as former justi sdrannoras oerro cion quote, an exercise in accountability to the rule of law over the popular will.
i think thearnum dision was as. ofur crter v memrs aware when we issued the decision it would unleash a would a wave of criticism and be now we could lose our job nonetheless we remaine true to pr to uthowaoffen wch w constitution without fear, favor, or hope of reward. it should come as no surprise that judges are most at risk when they uold theights of politically unpoparin ns tis of majority. as alexander hamilton wrote, quote, it is a gre importance in a republic not only to guard the society again the oppression of its ruleres, but to guard onearf the sie ait e juef r pt. james madison agreed, noting,
quote, in republics the great danger is thathe majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minity. thinentudfathrs rze a critical importance in safeguarding the rights of all parts of society. hamilton observed that in such situations, quote, it would reire an uncommon portionf fortitude in the judges to do th duty asthl arans of the constitution. the fortitude of many judges will be tested in the coming years. the groups that were successful in iowa have vowed they will not ju t ia ehe removal of tee ur d groups interested in social issues are not the only ones that pose a threat too a fair and impartial judiciary. business and commercial interests might believe they can benefitrom a pitiz
judiciary. look at the facts in one decision. in that case the president of massy coal company contributed over $3 million to elect brent ben -- benjan hees gisue t. r ect benjamin refused to recuse himself from an appeal filed by the coal company so all five justices on the west virgia supreme court participated in coom ovo o 3-2, reversed with justice benjamin tsaing -- casting the deciding vote in favor of the coal company. regard wilgo of the motivation for the vote, aeae ue isnight to the appearance of independence
i have no doubt that the groups active in the retention election and other special good intos ev i ia aeek to intimidate and influence judge mist threat of removal from office. my fear is that efforts to intimidate the judiciary will over timeect tud inesohe d a faithful guardians on the constitution or will result in the election or selection only of judges who agree to adhere to a certain agenda. i hope we never reach the point in this country that jges bememo thaol ob did cases in accordance with public opinion poles or based on what will satisfy their campaign contributors, and greatly fear the current effort to transform judges ihe theologians in
robes and ruling in favor of biblical ''guidance. if that day comes this society and our republic are in sio ble. lyn pe j en mors protected from the tyranny of the majority. only an iependent jew dish ray committed to the rule of law can safeguard eve citizen's liberties and rights. whrten otherwise, undermine judicial independence, make no mistake about it. over time this trend will result in a judiciary that is less and imss liky tobeair a y? rst, is the real and perceived corrupting influence of campaign fundraising.
do we really believe that special interests groups and juci cda d notec support a wans in of course they do. and that expectation will not be lost on some judges. second, a side from the fundraising aspect of politicized jicialleions reation aimidation will be understood by sitting judges. sadly, some judges will be discouraged from following the rule of law when to do so will lead to an unpopular outcome. thomes demandsnnor s unpopular outcomes and a judge who is forced to weigh what is popular, rather th focusing solely on what the law demands, as lost some impartiality. els une o'tized judia
mocry en wges elected or retained adhere the rule of law. even if judges have the courage to dispoint their campaign contributors, or to ignore the threats of special intert groups,unaising and mpaigning byudlurhe inn tw j a politicians. when judges are viewed by citizens as politicians, as susceptible to influence, confidce in the crts is vairt dnsa tntri co spe. d'm not being an alarmist. i have seen first hand the impact of plate -- politicize edi lexes on the court as an institution and i'll give you an exple. i was on the supremeou an had never heard the integrity of our court or the motivation for our decisions questioned. directly or incorrectly.
never. in 17 years. but in the two months after t 0 rettind foer expired, i witnessed two incidents that showed me theiew of our court had changed forever. in two different cases, two different attorneys challenged orders the supremeourt anssmshaturnere orrs in those cases were politically motivated. never had i seen such claims in pleadings or otherwise in 17 years on the court but saw two in the two months i sdfter e heereng about the actual corrupting influence of campaign contributions and judicial intimidation, or simply the perception that the judiciary can be influenced, politicizedlle susks o moac our government can only function
as it was intended to function if the checks and balances by our founding fhers are preserved. one check and balance is the duty of courtso dla l cooih t rly t principles in our feral and state constitutions will be preserved and given meaning only if they are supported and enforced by a fair impartial and independent juciy. e mis rre ecions find their legitimacy in the willingness of the other branches of government and our citizens to abide by those decisions. can that lit bemnedded if court decisions are decided to have mo integrity in the debate abo controversial court decisions and the judges who mak them boils down to a simple
question. what kind of court system do amics crtha issues rulings based upon public opinion poll, campaign contributions and political contributions or a court stem sing rheul w. wan our liberties and right protected by a fair and impartial judiciary, we mug spouse the courts even when the rights they uphold are not our unlainory.e oolicly o dean of the yale law school once worned, -- warned, the level of lack of understanding of basic civics is stit tubthrt thute topaces rs t r of the three coequal branches 0 of the
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