SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A proposed state ballot initiative would force California’s two nuclear power plants to shut down, causing electricity rates to jump and possibly resulting in rolling blackouts, according to a nonpartisan analysis.

The proposed Nuclear Waste Act of 2012 would require that no nuclear power be generated until the federal government can permanently dispose of high-level nuclear waste.

In a report to lawmakers, the legislative analyst’s office said the loss of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon reactors would have an immediate impact on consumers, businesses and governments, the Orange County Register reported Wednesday. The plants provide about 16 percent of California’s power.

“Because the state’s two nuclear facilities are integral parts of the state’s electricity grid, their operation is currently necessary to ensure that the state has reliable access to electricity,” the LAO report said.

The initiative has been cleared for circulation, and supporters must gather 504,760 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot, the newspaper said. The deadline is April 16.

Southern California Edison, which operates San Onofre, has joined with the Nuclear Energy Institute and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners to file lawsuits against the federal government seeking permanent storage for nuclear waste.

Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the federal government promised to accept and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste by Jan. 31, 1998. Nearly 14 years have passed since the deadline.

Southern California Edison declined to comment on the proposed initiative unless the measure ends up before voters.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (16)
  1. Guapi says:

    Oh yeah! Let’s jack up our rates even higher! That will show the Feds we mean business!!

    1. Guest says:

      California’s 2 nuclear power plants are on earthquake and tsunami zones !!

      San Onofre nuclear power plant has the worst safety record of any nuclear power plant!

      If a meltdown occurred, real estate values would be worthless; health could be ruined; crops and land could be destroyed for centuries!

      The evacuation zone around a nuclear power plant is 50 miles. If you live within 50 miles, you’d better educate yourself on nuclear power.

      Ask Japan if the cost of nuclear power that has devastated them was worth it. Japan’s children wear radiation detectors to school!

      Warren Buffet has just invested 2 billion into a solar farm in California.

      Renewable energy will boost California’s economy without polluting it!

      1. Note says:

        Summary of safety issues at San Onofre. Very interesting:

        Petition for the California ballot initiative:

  2. futurist says:

    Oh what a great idea—get rid of the nuclear reactors before they meltdown in an earthquake or operator related “accident”— Amazing that Japanese Government estimates Trillion dollar plus clean up efforts for the next decade and more, with 10% of their lands contaminated by this “day in the life” of Nuclear Energy.
    Guess its time to look at Wind Power more seriously?

    1. Guapi says:

      Yahoo!! Wind power is the answer! That will solve all our energy needs. Just like our government will solve all our financial problems.

  3. willianwallis says:

    Nuclear waste will cost the State billions to manage. The sooner the State shuts done those plants the sooner we all start saving money.