PG&E’s Humboldt Bay Generating Station in King Salmon. | File photo by Andrew Goff.

This week, Cal Poly Humboldt Assistant Professor Jennifer Marlow and Graduate Research Assistant Alec Brown join Jen Kalt of Humboldt Waterkeeper to talk about the 44 Feet Project, which is focused on the future risk of climate and coastal hazards to Humboldt Bay’s spent nuclear fuel site above the town of King Salmon. The first privately-owned nuclear plant in the U.S, the Humboldt Bay Power Plant produced electricity from 1963 to 1976, leaving 37 tons of spent nuclear fuel to be stored indefinitely 115 feet from the edge of an eroding bluff just 44 feet above current sea level.

Two recent developments will be of particular interest to residents of King Salmon and other Humboldt Bay communities. In June, the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury made recommendations for improving disaster planning and emergency preparedness in response to “any Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation-related emergencies.” In September, the California Public Utilities Commission recently issued a Final Decision in which PG&E agreed to update the tsunami hazard assessment for the spent fuel storage site.

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