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“Lipstick on a Pig” – Pro nuclear groups again trying to classify nuclear power as “Renewable”

To keep Diablo Canyon open, SLO assemblyman wants to classify nuclear power as renewable,  BY MATT FOUNTAIN  The Tribune, AUGUST 28, 2019  A Central Coast legislator and two pro-nuclear groups are taking an unusual step to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant operating: They want an amendment to the state Constitution classifying nuclear power as a renewable energy source.

Then, with the plant’s production able to count toward California’s target for renewables, the hope is that someone would acquire it through PG&E’s bankruptcy proceedings and continue to run it for another 20 years.

The effort’s a long shot, however, in a state controlled by Democrats more interested in investing in solar, wind, and geothermal energy, and with the plant facing significant relicensing hurdles.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo, announced Wednesday that he filed a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit the Legislature from discriminating against any form of renewable or zero-carbon energy as part of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard, qualifying nuclear as a source of renewable energy.

The operating licenses for Diablo Canyon’s two reactors expire in 2024 and 2025 respectfully, and the plant is slated for closure in 2026.

Logistical issues aside, Cunningham says qualifying the plant as a generator of renewable energy could allow the plant to operate up to 2045.

In June 2016, PG&E abandoned its efforts to relicense the plant’s reactors, citing among other factors the state’s renewable energy policy…….

The proposed amendment is supported by the pro-nuclear nonprofit groups Environmental Progress and Californians for Green Nuclear Power.


But David Weisman, spokesman for the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, which has called for the early closure of Diablo Canyon, likened the proposed amendment to a recent taxpayer bailout of Ohio’s two remaining nuclear reactors.

Saying that PG&E customers already pay among the highest rates in the country, Weisman said subsidies placed on the nuclear industry in other states have passed on extra costs to ratepayers.

“Ratepayers are already on the hook for a portion of billions of dollars in losses caused by PG&E’s negligence in Northern California,” Weisman said, referring to the utility’s liability for allegedly causing recent wildfires. “PG&E doesn’t want this plant.”

John Geesman, attorney for the Alliance, said the Diablo Canyon proposal will likely draw attention to the magnitude of Diablo’s above-market costs.

“This is an obvious attempt to put lipstick on a pig in hopes of attracting a purchaser of the asset in bankruptcy,” Geesman wrote in an email……


August 29, 2019 - Posted by | spinbuster, USA

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