Diablo Canyon is needed for clean-energy transition

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 3:22 PM

The State Lands Commission is scheduled to consider extensions for leases set to expire in two thousand-eighteenth and two thousand nineteen at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Diablo Canyon is needed for clean-energy transition

Soon, Californians will memorise whether state leaders’ commitment to achieving fifty % renewable energy by two thousand thirty is backed by a willingness to create tough choices, or whether they stay subject to politics as usual.

The State Lands Commission is scheduled to consider extensions for leases set to expire in two thousand-eighteenth and two thousand nineteen at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The proposed extensions, through two thousand twenty-four and two thousand twenty-five, would authorize the leases and the plant’s operating license to expire simultaneously.

Renewing the leases is sound public policy, particularly in the framework of California’s goals on climate change, which drive our environmental and energy priorities.

Not renewing the leases, as advocated by a tiny no of activists, is unsound policy fueled by one thousand nine hundred seventy thinking that ignores Diablo’s 30-year track record.

CA is in transition from yesterday’s filthy fossil fuel energy to a future of renewable energy. But tomorrow hasn’t arrive yet and we won’t obtain there without using nuclear energy from Diablo Canyon today.

While solar, wind and other renewable sources are vitally necessary elements of the overall climate-change solution, they stay only a portion of that solution. Full utilization of these renewable resources remains years far and requires continued technological advances and expensive changes to our power grid.

Diablo Canyon produces nearly ten % of all of California’s electrical power, reliably and around the clock. It emits zero greenhouse gases and number pollution, making it the single largest generator of non-carbon power in the state.

Consider the case of the San Onofre nuclear plant, which closed in two thousand-twelfth. According to a UC Berkeley report, its closure increased carbon dioxide emissions by nine million tons in the first year, the equivalent of adding the pollution of two million cars to our environment.

Closing Diablo Canyon would produce the same backward result. Nuclear energy would be replaced by natural gas-fired power, which produces greenhouse gases. Why? Because although clean, wind and solar energy production remains wildly inconsistent and unreliable.

Reaching a green energy future requires staying true to our goals in the face of political pressure. And excellent science provides the ethical imperative to do just that.

Earlier this year, a grouping of climate scientists and environmental leaders pointed out in a letter to the Gov and other state executive that it'll get decades to bring renewables to the level of production required to replace Diablo’s output. They argued for Diablo to be relicensed into the 2040s.

I'm pleased to represent the workers who produce and deliver energy, including six hundred at Diablo Canyon. From our perspective, a bright energy transition means setting a goal, creating a map and sticking with it. The state has set an ambitious goal. The data are clear and the Lands Commission should be, too.

There is number path to consistently reduce greenhouse gases without Diablo Canyon’s contribution of spotless power. Extension of the leases will create that possible.

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