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Mothers For Peace disappointed that California Governor supports ”lifeline” for Diablo Canyon nuclear power station

California’s governor seeks lifeline for last nuclear plant, 29 Aug 22,

State confronts extreme weather and rising demand as it rids carbon from the electric grid

After nearly 40 years of protesting against the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, Linda Seeley thought victory was finally at hand. Seeley and other members of Mothers for Peace — an activist group with roots in the 1960s antiwar movement — cheered when Pacific Gas and Electric, the utility that operates California’s last nuclear power station, announced in 2016 that it would close by 2025.

But governor Gavin Newsom, a longtime proponent of shutting down the plant, has reversed course and embarked on a last-minute effort to extend its operation by a decade. Newsom’s administration has cited “unprecedented stress” on the state’s energy system as a reason for keeping open Diablo Canyon, which alone accounts for 9 per cent of the state’s generation and 17 per cent of its electricity from [ed so-called] carbon-free sources. The California legislature will need to vote on whether to extend its operating life by Wednesday.

Seeley, who lives 7 miles from the plant in San Luis Obispo County, is furious. “With this proposal, Gavin Newsom is keeping an asset that is antiquated, needs tons of upgrades [and] has a six-year history of deferred maintenance,” she said. “It would be unconscionable to allow the plant to go on operating without doing the due diligence needed to make sure the plant is safe enough to work.” Beyond those concerns, she said, are the issues that have kept her up at night for decades. Diablo Canyon’s coastal location sits on faultlines, prompting concerns that seismic activity could trigger a nuclear meltdown. The plant, Seeley said, “is precariously perched on the edge of the ocean in an earthquake zone”………………..

California is a leader in renewable generation, with a quarter of its electricity powered by solar and wind resources in 2021 compared to 12 per cent for the US as a whole. But problems in the supply chain and cost inflation threaten to impede their expansion, according to state officials. The state’s power system will hit a “critical inflection point after Diablo Canyon retires”, the California Independent System Operator (Caiso), which manages most of the state’s grid, warned in a filing last year……………………………..


August 30, 2022 - Posted by | politics, USA

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