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California makes misguided plea for feds to keep state’s last nuclear power plant alive

California makes misguided plea for feds to keep state’s last nuclear power plant alive,

Alex 23 May 22, SAN FRANCISCO – California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is making a misguided plea for the U.S. Department of Energy to change the requirements of a federal fund so the aging, dangerous Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant can keep operating.

The state is asking the agency to free up part of the $6 billion in the Civil Nuclear Credit Program for Diablo Canyon to remain viable past its current scheduled closure date of 2025, Bloomberg reports. The plant is currently ineligible for the funds because California fully regulates utility power generation, and the money is available only for states with deregulated energy markets.

Newsom Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos sent a letter Monday to DOE Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm asking the Biden administration to alter the terms of the fund so Diablo Canyon can qualify. The fund is designed to help keep U.S. nuclear reactors in unregulated states operating.

“Moving the goal post to allow Diablo Canyon to continue running would set a dangerous precedent for other regulated states and utilities to keep aging, dilapidated nuclear plants operating,” said EWG President and California resident Ken Cook.

“Clinging to nuclear energy as a source of electricity as renewables like solar and wind grow by the day is not a sound, safe, forward-looking energy policy. We urge Secretary Granholm and the Biden administration to reject this plea to allow California to skirt the requirements of the program,” said Cook.

In a 2018 deal struck between Pacific Gas & Electric, which owns the nuclear power plant, labor unions, environmental groups and others, the utility agreed to shutter the two reactor units at Diablo Canyon in 2024 and 2025.

Here’s why keeping Diablo Canyon operating is concerning:

  • It will be costly
  • From 2011 to 2017, maintenance costs increased $110 million dollars.
  • The plant is known for harm to aquatic life from discharging hot water directly into the Pacific Ocean. Upgrading the cooling system to address these concerns could cost billions of dollars.
  • The plant is an extreme safety hazardIn 2014, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector urged the NRC to shut the plant down due to earthquake hazard.
  • Unit 1 at the facility is considered one of the most embrittled units in the country – meaning that if the plant were forced to suddenly shut down, cold water would be sent to the core, where the highly radioactive fuel resides, causing the containment vessel to shatter, causing a catastrophic accident.
  • Newsom’s plea comes just days after he released an updated budget that calls for $5.2 billion in proposed funding for California’s electricity grid, according to a report by the nonprofit news outlet Canary Media. If approved by state lawmakers, the budget would add more fossil-fueled power, more pollution, and higher costs for ratepayers.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

May 26, 2022 - Posted by | politics, USA

1 Comment »

  1. […] California makes misguided plea for feds to keep state’s last nuclear power plant alive […]

    Pingback by California makes misguided plea for feds to keep state’s last nuclear power plant alive – SHOPPEX NIGERIA | May 26, 2022 | Reply

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