Donna Gilmore 
Member since Sep 8, 2017

Recent Comments

Re: “PG&E response: The facts on storing spent fuel

NRC facts PG&E didn't tell you:
The thick wall shielding casks have air vents for cooling of the thin-wall canister and fuel, so do not provide protection if the 1/2" thin-wall canisters leak.

A 2-year old Diablo thin-wall canister was found to have all the conditions for cracking. The NRC states that moisture will dissolve salts -- one of the major triggers to start cracks. Once a crack starts it will grow through the wall in 16 years.

PG&E has not plan in place to find cracks, repair cracks or stop leaking canisters.

At a recent Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC)meeting, PG&E's Strickland stated the reason PG&E didn't select thick-wall metal casks [10" to 19.75" thick instead of 1/2" thick] is because thick-wall casks are too heavy. The opposite is true. Thin-wall canisters must be stored in thick wall transport casks before they can be moved. The Holtec high burnup transport cask weights up to 225 US tons when loaded. The thick-wall storage casks weight about 125 tons.

Peter Lam, the former NRC judge who approved the Holtec thin-wall Diablo Canyon canisters, said at a recent DCISC meeting he was not aware of the cracking issues with these thin-wall steel canisters at the time he approved them.

PG&E should recognize the error of their ways and switch to proven thick-wall metal casks that can be inspected, repaired, maintained and monitored to PREVENT leaks. Casks that providing continuous pressure monitoring and continuous radiation monitoring. PG&E thin-wall cans provide neither.

We do not need a repeat of San Bruno, but we're heading for much worse if PG&E doesn't change their inferior standards for storing this lethal waste. What will it take for PG&E to do the right thing?

Holtec and the NRC admit if unborated water reaches the fuel in the canisters, it will go critical.

If 5% air reaches inside the canisters, the fuel can explode do the hydrides from the higher burnup fuel PG&E uses. PG&E knows all this. Why are they ignoring these problems?

Regarding HR3053, PG&E likes this bill because it will legally allow the federal government to own and have all liability for their nuclear waste -- right where it sits at Diablo. It also removes our right to input, transparency and oversite. It takes away our democratic rights while removing existing critical storage and transport safety requirements. The main sponsor of this bill, Sen. Shimkus, knows all this, but does not share this information with the elected officials when he educates them on his bill. That is just a small list of problems with this bill. Critical transport risks are ignored. Problems with cracking canisters, brittle fuel rods, and inadequate transport infrastructure are ignored.

Oppose HR3053
Use proven thick-wall casks that can be inspected (inside and out), maintained, monitored, repaired to PREVENT leaks. Store in a reinforced concrete building for additional environmental and security protection. Must have a plan in place to maintain and replace containers and ensure fuel assemblies and fuel baskets do not fail.

No container will last as long as we need, but existing thin-wall canisters cannot even be maintained to prevent leaks.

Don't believe false promises of future solutions. Would you buy a car that could not be inspected, maintained and repaired and had no early warning systems to prevent failure? Even the cheapest car meets those requirements. These multi-million dollar thin-wall Holtec canister systems meet NONE of those basic critical requirements. These are features that should be built into any design. Instead, the NRC is approving inferior thin-wall canister systems because they are another captured agency. PG&E can do better and must do better.

See government and scientific sources and learn more at

Anyone who disagrees with my comment should include their scientific sources for their disagreement -- not nuclear industry talking points.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Donna Gilmore on 03/08/2018 at 11:00 AM

Re: “Utilities commission rejects Diablo's community settlement

A two-year old Diablo Canyon nuclear waste stainless steel canister has all the conditions for cracking and PG&E has no plan in place to deal with cracking or leaking canisters. The NRC said once cracks start, they will grow through the wall in about 16 years. PG&E continues to use these thin-wall (1/2" thick) canisters, each filled with about a Chernobyl disaster's worth of lethal radionuclides (Cesium-137).

The rest of the world uses proven thick wall metal casks (10" to 19.75" thick) that don't crack and can be inspected (inside and out), that can be maintained,repaired and monitored to PREVENT leaks. The NRC refuses to require those basic safety requirements that we expect in a car.

The legislature at both the state and federal level should consider these issues before allowing any more ratepayer money to be spent on thin-wall dry storage containers.

The CPUC, CEC, Coastal Commission, and NRC are aware of these problems, but refuse to address them. PG&E and Southern California Edison cannot be trusted to protect our safety or financial future. The state legislature should call an emergency session to address this. They should base decisions on evidence and not unsubstantiated statements from nuclear industry supporters or even independent "experts". See evidence at

Time is of the essence. California Chernobyl cans have been loading since 2001 at Rancho Seco, since 2003 at San Onofre, and 2006 at Diablo Canyon. See DOE inventory report of U.S. spent nuclear fuel dry storage, with dates first loaded, at

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Donna Gilmore on 01/20/2018 at 9:34 AM

Re: “A warning from Houston

Even shelter in place won't work. And we won't know where the plumes are as the winds change.

Another major risk are the thin-wall steel dry storage canisters. A two-year old Diablo Canyon canister has all the conditions for cracking. Each canister contains about as much highly radioactive Cesium-137 as was released from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

PG&E has no technology to inspect for cracks in these Chernobyl cans, and no way to repair, maintain or monitor to PREVENT leaks. What's even worse,
they have no safe plan in place to deal with leaking canisters. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission states once a crack starts it will grow through the wall in about 16 years.

All the waste that's ever been generated is sitting at Diablo Canyon.

The waste has already been mismanaged. Over half the fuel waste was loaded incorrectly in the canisters. This can cause the fuel and fuel rods (referred to as cladding) to become damaged. With the high burnup fuel used at Diablo, hydrogen and other explosive gases can build up in the canisters. Mixed with oxygen there is a potential for explosions. How many Chernobly cans can we afford to have leak and potentially explode?

Residents need to advocate for thick-wall casks that don't have the problems of the thin-wall canisters. This is the standard in most of the world. Diablo cans are 1/2" thick. European ones are 10" to 19 3/4" thick). This is just common sense.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Donna Gilmore on 09/08/2017 at 10:12 PM

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