Newsom Considers Postponing Diablo Canyon’s Stoppage

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, is thinking about delaying the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

This shows more governments are looking to nuclear energy to get clean energy and avoid supply problems. Newsom indicated this in an appearance with the editorial team of the Los Angeles Times.

He said he intended to apply for federal cash under a new $6 billion Department of Energy project targeted at preserving the nation’s active commercial nuclear power plants.

A $6 Billion Initiative

In a move that’s never been made before, the federal government gave $6 billion to help save old commercial nuclear reactors in the United States.

The owners of these reactors have had a hard time paying for maintenance issues and competing with cheaper natural gas alternatives.

“You must submit an application by May 19, or you will forfeit the potential to receive any federal money to prolong the life of that plant,” Newsom warned, adding that state authorities might subsequently opt to seek to keep the facility running.

Nonetheless, he stated, “we would be stupid not to consider that possibility.”

Diablo Canyon is California’s most significant energy source, providing 6% of the state’s electricity last year.

Still, its managers chose to close the plant years ago, rather than pay for costly ecological and seismic safety repairs.

Later, a representative for Newsom reiterated he did want to see the facility closed permanently.

However, Newsom stated he favors dependable electricity and has been pressured to keep Diablo Canyon open by an increasing number of advocates, including former US energy officials.

Newsom continued, “Some might argue this is a moral and ethical climate decision.”

Diablo is one of seven operating nuclear power plants in the United States that the Department of Energy expects to close by 2025.

The government found the remaining nuclear reactors are also at risk, with at least one-quarter of the units in the United States classified as “at risk.”

Attention From the Government

However, attitudes toward nuclear power in the United States have shifted more positively. Per a recent UC Berkeley-Los Angeles Times survey, 44% of respondents support the construction of new nuclear reactors in California.

Nuclear power plants are the country’s most significant zero-emission electricity source, providing a whopping 19 percent of the total electricity generated last year alone, as per the US Energy Information Administration.

That is roughly as much energy as solar cells, wind generators, hydropower dams, and other renewable energy sources combined.

There are now 55 commercial nuclear power plants in the United States, with 93 reactors. If the Biden administration wants to have no carbon emissions by 2050, it needs to keep these plants open and working.

In a press release announcing the $6 billion initiative earlier this month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated the following:

“Nuclear power plants in the United States generate more than half of our carbon-free DC power. President Biden is willing to keep these plants operational to meet our clean energy goals.”