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California Gov. Newsom Rethinking the Closure of State’s Last Nuclear Power Plant

California Gov. Newsom Rethinking the Closure of State’s Last Nuclear Power Plant

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County is the state’s largest producer of electricity.

More and more signs show that California Governor Gavin Newsom is gearing up for a possible presidential one, if not in 2024, then certainly in 2028.

A successful run would be impossible if the state’s touch power grid struggled. This might explain the governor’s rethinking the closure of the state’s last nuclear power plant.

Facing possible electricity shortages, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering keeping the state’s last nuclear power plant online beyond its planned closing in 2025.

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County is the state’s largest producer of electricity, and it will be difficult to replace, even with an increase in renewables.

Pacific Gas and Electric owns it and says it would consider all options.

PG&E planned to close the plant once the reactor licenses expire as part of an agreement with labor unions, environmental groups, and nuclear stakeholders.

Newsom floated the idea that plant owner PG&E could seek a share of $6 billion in federal funding the Biden administration established earlier last month to support the continued operation of nuclear reactors at risk of closing.

Newsom, who has no direct authority over the operating license for Diablo Canyon, said the state would still move forward and submit an application to the U.S. Department of Energy by May 19 to avoid missing the opportunity to draw down on federal funds to possibly keep the plant open longer.

“We would be remiss not to put that on the table as an option,” the governor said.

“The Governor is in support of keeping all options on the table to ensure we have a reliable (electricity) grid,” his spokeswoman, Erin Mellon, later clarified. “This includes considering an extension to Diablo Canyon, which continues to be an important resource as we transition to clean energy.”

Newsom’s change of mind may be related to Biden’s crashing approval numbers and his reelection campaign facing widespread voter fury over inflation, homelessness, and rising crime rates.

Any proposal to extend the operating life of the plant is certain to revive an extensive battle over the plant’s safety and would involve complex reviews by an array of state and federal agencies.

The issues in play at Diablo Canyon range from a long-running debate over the ability of structures to withstand earthquakes — one fault runs 650 yards (594 meters) from the reactors — to the possibility PG&E might be ordered by state regulators to spend potentially billions of dollars to modify or replace the plant’s cooling system, which sucks up ocean water and has been blamed for killing fish and other marine life.

Also unclear is the plant’s capacity to store additional spent fuel from the reactors. The highly radioactive waste is kept at nuclear plants, since the nation does not have a long-term disposal site.

The nuclear power plant might be the first sensible idea to come from the governor’s office in quite some time. It will be interesting to see how much of the ridiculous green policies will be scrapped throughout Newsom’s next campaign.


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When it gets down to it, liberals don’t like living with the consequences of liberalism.

    henrybowman in reply to Whitewall. | May 3, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    No, no, Gavin, shut it down. And outlaw all IC vehicles and equipment.
    They you can all starve to death in the dark. (Mmmmmm, pork!)
    Your liberal principles demand it!

    “[Morality is whatever ensures] those conditions of existence which are required by man’s nature for his proper survival.” — Ayn Rand

      marta52 in reply to henrybowman. | May 4, 2022 at 9:54 am

      If you want to get to the ‘root cause’ of this aberration, read about the role that our very bright, queen of the ‘root cause of the root cause’, Kemala’s role in the energy corruption in CA in the book Apocalypses Never. It will make you want to throw up.

The Gentle Grizzly | May 3, 2022 at 9:14 am

Another leftist mugged by reality.

Nuclear power cooling systems kills fish. Solar panels and wind turbines kill birds. Some animals are more equal than others.

    healthguyfsu in reply to George S. | May 3, 2022 at 11:43 am

    River fish can be farmed with little effect on their well-being, birds like the ones killed in turbines…not so much.

    marta52 in reply to George S. | May 4, 2022 at 9:59 am

    I highly recommend the reading of Apocalypses Never by Michael Shellenberger. You will be able to have a more informed opinion about this government’s aberration at its ‘root causes’.

    henrybowman in reply to George S. | May 4, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    “Nuclear power cooling systems kills fish.”
    When life hands you fish, make chowder.
    My brother-in-law was in charge of the Seabrook reactor in NJ.
    Divers were routinely scheduled to clean the intake screens, which would load up with fish, shrimp, and other delicacies, live and in good condition.
    The haul was always “honored” appropriately, in classic hunter tradition.

Why does it take federal funds to keep it operating? Does PG&E not make a profit selling electricity?

What labor union agrees to eliminate union jobs by shutting down a plant? What actual stake do “nuclear stakeholders” have in this plant?

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to randian. | May 3, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Labor unions are functionally subsidiaries of the Democrat party and anyone to the Left. Eliminating union jobs is nothing if it advances the Cause. They would shoot their mothers if so ordered by the Party. Interestingly enough, the major immediate backlog in our country’s supply chain [and thus the empty store shelves, both currently and worse in the near future] is the huge containership backlog off our west coast. THERE the unions are adamant that both there will be no easing of COVID restrictions that slow things down [despite the detail that we are running out of COVID], and there will be ABSOLUTELY no upgrading of the containership loading/unloading process to world standards, supposedly because it would cost union jobs, but mostly because not upgrading harms the country.

    Subotai Bahadur

Interesting. Newsom recently proposed building a desalinization plant to help address drought issues. The California Coastal Commission went “hair on fire” in opposition of course.

    n.n in reply to CDR D. | May 3, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    Ironically, an industry where renewables/intermittents/unreliables would be well suited to purpose.

      tbonesays in reply to n.n. | May 5, 2022 at 1:50 pm

      Nuclear power does not produce CO2. You can stun 99% of the green racketeers with that trivium.

    marta52 in reply to CDR D. | May 4, 2022 at 10:02 am

    Of course! The desalinization is a cost effective technology. It makes sense. But remember: Common sense was cancelled by the Dem/Communists that rule our country. It might even be illegal.