Legislators challenge Gov. Newsom’s plans for Diablo Canyon

August 23, 2022

Gov. Gavin Newsom


A proposal penned by a group of California legislators seeks to shut down Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Avila Beach in 2024 and 2025. The proposal contradicts Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to extend the life of the plant for five to 10 years.

Last week, Newsom proposed providing a $1.4 billion loan to PG&E to help the utility extend the life of Diablo Canyon, which produces 9% of the state’s electricity. Newsom said the extension is critical to ensure statewide energy system reliability as the state moves away from fossil fuels.

On Aug. 19, members of the California State Assembly released an alternate plan. The group instead proposes spending $1.4 billion on developing renewable energy to battle climate change.

The latest plan includes creating new transmission lines and storage, installing energy-efficient cooling and lighting for low-income residents, providing bill credits to offset ratepayer costs and funding for solar.

Newsom quickly condemned the legislators’ proposal.

Newsom “wants California to go faster to meet our climate goals, while ensuring we can keep the lights on and safely transition to clean power,” according to his spokesperson Anthony York. The Aug. 19 proposal “feels like fantasy and fairy dust, and reflects a lack of vision and a lack of understanding about the scope of the climate problem.”

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You can vote down the following reply but you will not be able to contradict it with facts:

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is outmoded technology that each year produces tons and tons more toxic radioactive waste than plants that are being designed and built today. No amount of retrofitting or upgrading Diablo Canyon will change that fact.

Now here’s the thing: radioactive waste produced at Diablo Canyon needs to be stored and monitored for at least 10,000 years. (Google it if you don’t believe me.) Add up that cost, not to mention cost of liability insurance and all kinds of essential add-ons, and you will see that the overall cost of running the plant and dealing with the waste will exceed the value of the electricity produced.)

Anyone who claims that Diablo Canyon can be run cost effectively should at least be able to tell us the current annual cost of storing and monitoring the waste that is being produced currently. If you can’t do that, how can you rationally claim to know whether Diablo Canyon can be run efficiently or not?

Long term, on site, dry casket storage, perhaps as the German’s have, should be a relicensing condition.

Do you even have any idea how many millions of pounds of toxic radioactive waste is currently being stored in temporary facilities at Diablo Canyon? If you can’t tell me that how can you possibly know whether or not the facility can be run cost effectively? Do you know the annual cost of the long-term on site dry casket storage that you suggest? Times 10,000 years. Get real, please. The fact is that the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, a.k.a. the old Lady of the canyon, is way out -moded technology. Like trying to run a 1940 automobile at todays Indianapolis 500. Rate payers and/or taxpayers will be stuck with the bill for 10,000 years. If Diablo Canyon could be run cost-effectively, PG&e wouldn’t be desperately trying to dump it or be subsidized for billions dollars of taxpayer money. It’s essentially a huge Ponzi scheme. If we’re gonna have nuclear power plants, we should have modern ones. Diablo Canyon is technology a half century old. If we are going to have a nuclear power plant in our backyard we should at least have one that isn’t half a century old in need of massive upgrades, and situated over multiple earthquake faults, and susceptible to tsunamis with it’s below sea level ocean intake cooling system. Grab a clue, dudes. You’re being scammed.

The PG&E Monopoly claimed bankruptcy but is still doing business and has just raised their rates to all time high. The loan will be paid by the ratepayers like all the other extra charges on your bill. Look at your bill and there will be about 10 different item fees. Solar is great but at this time it can’t stand alone. Calif won’t let anyone build a Nuclear plant or any other type of power plant to supply the power needed so they want to keep Diablo open now when years ago they never wanted it No matter what Newt does the Ca ratepayer will foot the bill as usual

The discussion over closing the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, as originally scheduled, in my opinion is a hilarious excuse for more talking points whick fund the talkers. As for the science and the demand we have created, the plant will be open for at least another 20 years. Within that time frame a newer design reactor will be in the making to replace what is existing. I would not bet on anything else unless you have money to throw away, as is the case for the ratepayers participation in this public relations stunt, like wind powered generators scattered all over the ocean. From dirt to the build this would be a disaster in the making and a ongoing problem to fund. Do the math, there is no freer energy than harnessing the power of a nuclear reactor which comes with SERIOUS design and numerous lines of defense.

That said, until there has been a realistic show of progress, why do we promote greater electrical demands and fiscally undermining funding programs for transportation. Certainly we are going in the direction of stopping everything at the flip of a switch.

There’s nothing that can produce the power that the nuke plant provides. He obviously doesn’t want to be left out in the dark.