In a surprise announcement by Pacific Gas and Electric Company on Tuesday, it was learned that California's only remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County along California's central coast, will close in nine years.
"In a momentous decision with far-reaching consequences, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has announced it will not pursue license renewal for the two reactors at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and will close it in 2025 — ending a tumultuous 31-year relationship with the community and causing an annual economic impact of nearly $1 billion locally," writes David Sneed for The Tribune.
The closure is part of an agreement with labor and environmental organizations announced Tuesday [June 21] in which the utility agrees to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable power and electricity storage to offset the power that will no longer be produced by the nuclear plant.
According to PG&E's press release, the organizations are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environment California, and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.
However, at least one environmental organization had wished the PG&E had pursued license renewals for their nuclear reactors."Nuclear is just a huge part of moving towards a cleaner electrical system," says Michael Shellenberger, president and founder of Environmental Progress, which supports nuclear power, writes Lauren Sommer, KQED Science reporter.
“You cannot power the world on wind and solar,” says Shellenberger.
* These resources are greenhouse gas-free and/or renewable.
Note: Power mix includes all PG&E-owned generation plus PG&E’s power purchases. Due to rounding conventions, the numbers above may not add up to 100%. Data is sourced from PG&E’s 10K report, filed in February 2016.
Taking a different perspective is Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of Natural Resources Defense Council's Energy Program. "It will be the first nuclear power plant retirement to be conditioned on full replacement with lower cost zero-carbon resources," writes Cavanagh.
That position would appear to be confirmed by PG&E Chairman Tony Earley.
"California’s energy landscape is changing dramatically with energy efficiency, renewable and storage being central to the state’s energy policy," said Earley in the press release. "As we make this transition, Diablo Canyon’s full output will no longer be required."
However, as the above pie chart indicates, last year nuclear power represented almost one quarter of the utility's energy portfolio. It will take a lot of renewables, efficiency, and storage to fill that void.
Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings
Large buildings with uses of all kinds will be subject to Boston's new "Maximum Parking Ratios."
5 Tips for Planning Safe Post-Pandemic Events
As community events start move off-screen and become available to the public again, here are five ways organizers can ensure public health and safety.
Jaywalking, Idaho Stop Bills Vetoed by California's Governor
Faced with the opportunity to redefine the traffic safety regime in one of the nation's most progressive states, Governor Gavin Newsom flinched.
Norwalk Redevelopment Agency
City of Cotati
City of Austin Transportation Department
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.