Is Gavin Newsom trying to close Diablo Canyon?

January 4, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power PlantCalifornia’s second-in-command and a leading candidate in the 2018 governor’s race, Gavin Newsom, is predicting Diablo Canyon power plant will close by the time its current licenses expire in 2024 and 2025. Newsom is also using his position as chair of state commission to subject the nuclear plant to environmental review that PG&E officials did not expect to occur. [SF Chronicle]

PG&E leases states tidelands in order to operate the plant’s cooling system, which sucks in water from the ocean and then returns it. The tidelands leases expire in 2018 and 2019, and PG&E is currently requesting the State Lands Commission approve extensions of the leases.

Newsom, who is the chairman of the State Lands Commission, is calling for there to be a full environmental review before the the commission decides on the lease extensions. The commission may vote in February on whether a new tidelands lease requires an environmental impact report (EIR).

Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom

If the commission does require an EIR, the process could take more than a year and it may reignite debate over the safety of the power plant.

“I don’t think that PG&E, in its quiet moments, would disagree that this may not have been the ideal site for a plant,” Newsom said at the Dec. 18 State Lands Commission meeting.

PG&E spokesman Tom Cuddy said an environmental review is not needed because PG&E is proposing no operational or design changes to its cooling system.

Newsom, who often voices support for green causes, has not ruled out approving the lease extensions. He urged the State Lands Commission to consider how Diablo Canyon fits into California’s attempts to halt global warming.

Unlike conventional power plants, Diablo Canyon does not pump any greenhouse gases into the sky.

Still, Newsom says he does believe the plant will stay open another 10 years.

“I just don’t see that this plant is going to survive beyond 2024, 2025,” Newsom said. “I just don’t see that. Now, I absolutely may be wrong, but that’s my punditry. And there is a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t.”


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93 Comments

  1. ml1999 says:

    Nuclear power is our largest source of green power, and Newsom wants to end it. How impractical. Being anti-nuclear won’t help him on the national stage. He did some nutty things as mayor of SF too. Booo.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  2. laftch says:

    Wait a minute. I thought we were going to build a pipeline to Los Osos and Five Cities to deliver abundant desalinated water from the plant. Seems like about the time the pipelines are finished the plant will be shut down.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • paragon says:

      Sure, they might shutdown the nuclear plant, but that doesn’t mean they have to shutdown the desalination plant as well. There is no reason why that couldn’t keep running (and the pipeline would be a great reason to not scrap that perfectly good desalt plant.)

      (-5) 5 Total Votes - 0 up - 5 down
  3. laowai says:

    No wonder PG&E and their employees are so active at this forum:

    ” As more households generate their own power via solar panels with battery storage, utilities could lose up to $15 billion in the U.S. Northeast alone by 2030, according to a recent RMI report.”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/05/150501-tesla-home-battery-grid-energy-storage/

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
    • CentralcoastRN says:

      Listen,

      I am ALL for solar energy. But. Tesla’s home battery itself is $7,000 to START when you count installation, inverter. That doesn’t include any solar panels, and it doesn’t include any trouble shooting or service. And that’s for a small house. Solar panels cost about $15,000. How are the jobless people no longer working for the evil Diablo going to afford that?

      Mc Donald’s thankfully pays $10 bucks an hour now, so that’s a plus…. According to my calculations, an employee should be able to afford those by the fifth of never. I bet Pinterest has some GREAT ideas though on how to make candles out of French fry grease though.

      Maybe you are on to something.

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
      • laowai says:

        CentralcoastRN

        i posted an example here with detailed offers of a famous solar installer in California and the post was deleted…. strange, do we have a china style censors here?

        I mean as long as i post financial fact about PG&E deals, posts will not be deleted?

        To come back to the facts, there are plenty of deals out there form solar installers that don’t require any investment by the home owner, give it a try.

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I’ve been here since ’08 and I always love the newbies that always assume that when someone doesn’t agree with them, that the fix is in and they all work for the arch enemy.

      I can say from some of the regulars here, you get to know some peoples political leanings from comments and most likely what you are seeing is someone’s philosophy, rather than one’s employment.

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
      • laowai says:

        Well put,

        but i have problems to believe that someone would defend the continued operation of an outdated and dangerous pieces of equipment designed in the 60s (that could cost him his home any day) without any other financial links to it.

        Why would anybody support that since there are plenty of other feasible options out there, especially in the Sunshine state of California?

        (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down

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