BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 361


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          361 (Achadjian)


          As Amended  September 3, 2015


          2/3 vote.  Urgency


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 75-0 | June 2, 2015) |SENATE: |40-0  | (September 8,   |
          |           |      |               |        |      |2015)            |
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          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  G.O.


          SUMMARY:  Extends the sunset date for the Nuclear Planning  
          Assessment Special Account (NPASA) from July 1, 2019, to August  
          26, 2025, to continue funding emergency service programs and  
          planning activities for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San  
          Luis Obispo County.  In addition, requires the Public Utilities  
          Commission (PUC) to convene, or continue, until August 26, 2025,  
          an independent peer review panel to conduct an independent  
          review of enhanced seismic studies and surveys of the Diablo  
          Canyon Units 1 and 2 powerplant, including the surrounding areas  
          of the facility and areas of nuclear waste storage, as defined.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)The PUC shall convene, or continue, until August 26, 2025, an  
            independent peer review panel to conduct an independent review  
            of enhanced seismic studies and surveys of the Diablo Canyon  








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            Units 1 and 2 powerplant, including the surrounding areas of  
            the facility and areas of nuclear waste storage.  


          2)Provide the independent peer review panel shall contract with  
            the Energy Commission, the California Geological Survey of the  
            Department of Conservation, the California Coastal Commission,  
            the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, the Office of  
            Emergency Services, and the County of San Luis Obispo to  
            participate on the panel and provide expertise, as specified.


          3)Add coauthors.


          4)Add urgency clause.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Grants PUC with the regulatory authority over public  
            utilities, including electrical corporations.


          2)Requires the development and maintenance of a nuclear  
            powerplant emergency response program by state and local  
            governments based on federal and state criteria.


          3)The California Emergency Services Act (Act) authorizes local  
            government entities to create disaster councils by ordinance  
            and in turn develop disaster plans specific to their  
            jurisdictions. 


          4)The RPA requires local governments to develop and maintain  
            radiological emergency preparedness and response plans to  
            safeguard the public in the emergency planning zone around a  
            nuclear powerplant and generally makes Cal OES responsible for  
            the coordination and integration of all emergency planning  
            programs and response plans created pursuant to the RPA. 








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          5)Provides under the Act, until July 1, 2019, a method for  
            funding state and local costs for carrying out these  
            activities that are not reimbursed by federal funds, with the  
            costs borne by utilities operating nuclear powerplants with a  
            generating capacity of 50 megawatts or more.


          6)Requires PUC to equitably allocate the non-reimbursed state  
            costs associated with the preparation and implementation of  
            the NPASA between the utilities.  Costs for state  
            administration and reimbursements to local governments are  
            specified, capped, and paid for by utility customers.


          7)Provides that the PUC has regulatory authority over public  
            utilities, including electrical corporations. 


          8)Authorizes PUC to fix the rates and charges for every public  
            utility, and requires that those rates and charges be just and  
            reasonable.  Requires PUC, for purposes of establishing rates  
            for any electrical corporation, to disallow expenses  
            reflecting the direct or indirect costs resulting from any  
            unreasonable error or omission relating to the planning,  
            construction, or operation of any portion of the corporation's  
            plant which cost, or is estimated to have cost, more than  
            $50,000,000, including any expenses resulting from delays  
            caused by any unreasonable error or omission, as specified.


          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY, this bill extended the sunset date  
          for the Nuclear Planning Assessment Special Account (NPASA) from  
          July 1, 2019, to August 26, 2025, to continue funding emergency  
          service programs and planning activities for the Diablo Canyon  
          Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, total revenues of $8.5 million to the NPASA (special)  
          to cover OES's costs between 2019 and 2024.  In addition, a  








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          pass-through of $13.3 million to the NPASA (special) that is  
          collected and distributed by OES on behalf of local agencies for  
          their costs between 2019 and 2024.


          COMMENTS:  This bill as amended is consistent with Assembly  
          actions.


          Purpose of this bill:  According to the author, the Diablo  
          Canyon power plant pays into the NPASA under the OES.  They are  
          currently scheduled to stop paying into the account on July 1,  
          2019, which is before their current license expires on August  
          26, 2025.  Therefore, the author argues, "the nuclear power  
          plant could still be in operation without having to contribute  
          to the costs of emergency planning or response should an  
          emergency occur."


          The author further argues that, "if the plant were to continue  
          in operation without funding, then emergency preparedness and  
          response will be jeopardized.  Continuing this account is vital  
          to assure the maintenance of the State's nuclear emergency  
          programs, which has been a model program established to  
          safeguard public health and safety in California."


          Nuclear Power Plant Regulation:  In 1979, following the accident  
          at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, the  
          California State Legislature mandated that OES, together with  
          the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and affected  
          counties, investigate the consequences of a serious nuclear  
          power plant accident.  Based on site-specific studies in 1980,  
          Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) around the plant sites were  
          established in detail and integrated plans were developed.   
          Legislation mandating the Nuclear Power Plant Program has been  
          continuous since 1979, enacted as Government Code and Health and  
          Safety Code sections, called the Radiation Protection Act.


          Local governments are also required to develop and maintain  
          radiological emergency preparedness and response plans to  








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          safeguard the public in the EPZ around a nuclear power plant and  
          to take specified actions within that zone.  Utilities also have  
          a role to play, including developing and maintaining  
          radiological emergency preparedness and response plans in  
          coordination with state and local governments and to coordinate  
          with state and local governments in maintaining nuclear power  
          plant education information.


          Emergency Response and Recover:  In the event of an emergency at  
          one of California's nuclear power plants, OES is the lead agency  
          to mobilize state resources and to request and coordinate  
          federal resources to mitigate the effects of radiation released  
          into the atmosphere.  The CDPH would be responsible for  
          providing radiological assessments during all phases of such  
          emergencies and will be the technical lead during "ingestion  
          pathway" and "recovery" phases of an emergency. 


          Prior Legislation:  AB 292 (Blakeslee), Chapter 492, Statutes of  
          2007 extended the sunset date on the NPASA from July 1, 2009, to  
          July 1, 2019, and the repeals date from January 1, 2010, to  
          January 1, 2020.  This bill also revised the funding levels  
          payable from the account beginning fiscal year 2009-10 and  
          required that any money remaining in the account when it becomes  
          inoperative be returned to the contributing utility for rebates  
          to the ratepayers.


          SB 2141 (O'Connell), Chapter 543, Statutes of 1998.  Stipulated  
          that OES shall continue to have prime responsibility for  
          coordinating and integrating all levels of emergency planning  
          and response within a "joint" state and local government  
          decision-making process.  Modified the method for providing  
          funding to those state agencies responsible with implementing  
          various aspects of the NPASA.  Authorized the State Controller,  
          upon appropriation by the Legislature, to advance up to 80% of a  
          fiscal year allocation from the Account to the agencies for  
          anticipated local costs.  Extended, by 10 years, the current  
          sunset (July 1, 1999). 










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          SB 876 (Hart), Chapter 759, Statutes of 1993.  Updated the  
          state's NPERP by revising and reallocating responsibilities  
          between the Office of Emergency Response, Department of Health  
          Services, utilities, local jurisdictions, and other agencies.   
          The bill extended the sunset on the NPASA until July 1, 1999,  
          and authorizes payment from the account of specific sums of  
          money over the next five years to state and local agencies for  
          the purposes of implementing the plan.  Revenues to the account  
          are derived from fees imposed on parties owning and operating  
          nuclear powerplants


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Eric Johnson / G.O. / (916) 319-2531  FN:  
          0002235