Seattle City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to replace the city’s nuclear power with wind and solar.
The measure was sponsored by openly socialist council member Kshama Sawant, who claims the unanimous vote means the city is “taking a stand against nuclear energy.” Sawant was supported by activists from the state’s chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and other environmental groups. These activists allege that Columbia Generating Station, the reactor Seattle gets power from, is unsafe and vulnerable to earthquakes.
“Yesterday’s resolution doesn’t amount to much; it’s kind of irrelevant for those genuinely concerned about our state’s energy future,” Michael Paoli, a spokesperson for the company which owns the Columbia nuclear power plant, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The council vote was unfortunate. We don’t believe Seattle is anti-nuclear or anti-clean energy per se. They just got a lot of really bad info yesterday that went unchallenged, and, unfortunately, they acted on it.”
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s estimates the risk of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Columbia was one in 147,619.
Seattle gets four percent of its electricity from Washington state’s only commercial nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station. This single plant produces 1,190 megawatts of electricity, about 10 percent of the electricity generated in the state. The reactor has been generating power since 1984 and is licensed to keep doing so till 2043.
“We thought one of the council-members actually showed some pretty good due diligence yesterday when she challenged the resolution sponsor by saying something along the lines of, ‘Talk more about green energy, what are we doing or asking others to do? What are the next steps and what are we doing to promote green energy as a city/region?” Paoli continued. “It wasn’t hard to listen between the lines of the response to hear the crickets. That, if nothing else, should disturb Seattleites.”