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Californians Not So Hot on Nuclear Power
"After public opinion polls found lukewarm support for new nuclear power plants in the state," California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore withdrew his ballot initiative on nuclear energy. The initiative, which was slated for the June 2008 ballot, would have "overturned a 1976 state law prohibiting construction of new nuclear reactors until a permanent solution for the storage of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel is found." DeVore "got permission to begin gathering signatures to place the initiative on the ballot" in October, but "no signature gathering was done," because polls found 52 percent of Californians support new nuclear plants, while 42 percent oppose them. "If we pushed this thing to the ballot, we were likely to lose," said DeVore. "You want to be in the mid-60 percent range before you start on something that controversial." Instead, "he plans to submit a bill next year that would lift the nuclear moratorium legislatively." A similar bill, also by DeVore, was killed in committee in April 2007. On the website of his pro-nuclear group, Power for California, DeVore writes, "Eventually, California will catch up to reality." The Fresno Nuclear Energy Group also supported the failed legislation and ballot initiative.