Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant to be shut down
Closing the plant should be cheaper than operating the facility through 2044 as planned, meaning the utility probably won’t have to increase rates, PG&E; said. PG&E; plans to retrain workers during the plant’s decommissioning process and offer a severance package.
The latest twist writes a beginning of the end of the nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon, whose development in the late 1970s and early 1980s inspired an award-winning motion picture, “The China Syndrome”, and an entrenched collection of anti-nuclear citizens’ action groups in San Luis Obispo County.
Diablo Canyon has been in operation since 1985. That estimate presupposed that the plant would be replaced by natural gas. “In District 4 alone, this closure will affect more than 400 head-of-household jobs”. But the closure isn’t all good news.
Not all environmentalists will be happy to see Diablo Canyon go.
(PG&E;), labor unions and various environmental groups to replace the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California with zero-emissions energy – including wind and solar power – within nine years.
The last reactor there shut three years ago but is becoming an even more acute potential terrorist target than it was when EnviroReporter.com’s 2013 exposé Black Swan SONGS was published, due to plans to place spent nuclear fuel in thin-skinned metal containers in direct site of Pacific waters. The commission meets next week. “This is an absolutely historic agreement”, said Damon Moglen, a senior strategist with the Friends of the Earth, who participated in the negotiations.
CPUC confirmation that PG&E;’s investment in DCPP will be recovered by the time the plant closes in 2025.
Federal regulators had been weighing whether to extend Diablo’s operating life for another 20 years after its initial licenses expire in 2024 and 2025. It also recently doubled energy efficiency goals, and it has championed Community Choice Aggregation, a state policy that enables local governments to aggregate electricity demand within their jurisdictions to procure alternative energy supplies while maintaining services from an existing transmission and distribution provider.
PG&E; will immediately cease any efforts on its part to renew the Diablo Canyon operating licenses and will ask the NRC to suspend consideration of the pending Diablo Canyon license renewal application pending withdrawal with prejudice of the NRC application upon California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval of the Joint Proposal Application. “That’s wrong, of course, and now we have the proof”. “Given the state policies, this is the best decision for us”.
In Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power disaster struck after an earth quake when risky levels of radiation flowed out damaged reactors. On Tuesday, members expressed disappointment.
“It lays out an effective roadmap for a nuclear phase-out in the world’s sixth largest economy, while assuring a green energy replacement plan to make California a global leader in fighting climate change”, Picha said. PG&E;’s decision highlights the shift in our nation’s energy landscape – one that is moving more and more toward a clean, renewable energy future.
“We don’t believe we need the full output of Diablo”, Williams said.