Biden announces plans to give $1.1 billion grant to keep Diablo Canyon open

November 21, 2022


The Biden administration announced on Monday it plans to give Pacific Gas & Electric a $1.1-billion grant to help the company keep operating Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plantin San Luis Obispo County.

After 40 years in operation, Diablo Canyon was set to be decommissioned in 2025. Diablo Canyon currently provides 10% of California’s electric power.

Earlier this year, lawmakers approved a $1.4-billion loan to PG&E to help the utility extend the life of Diablo Canyon. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the extension is critical to ensure statewide energy system reliability as the state moves away from fossil fuels.

Portions of the $1.1-billion grant could be used to pay back the $1.4-billion loan.

The extension of the plant will temporarily save 1,500 jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“This is a critical step toward ensuring that our domestic nuclear fleet will continue providing reliable and affordable power to Americans as the nation’s largest source of clean electricity,” according to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

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Unfortunately, Diablo Canyon lies along what is known as the Pacific Rim of Fire. National Geographic says, “Ninety percent of Earth’s earthquakes occur along its path, including the planet’s most violent and dramatic seismic events.”

I have counted several recent quakes along its edges. In fact, Baja just saw a 6.2 magnitude quake the other day. While I hope Diablo can withstand such a shaker, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a 7.9 (such as the 1906 SF quake) or higher quake could hit this area.

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant was retrofitted to withstand up to a 6.8 earthquake. Anything beyond that, exceeds what it was designed to withstand.

I’m all for keeping Diablo Canyon operating. Just not keen on the dysfunctional PG&E operating it. And in the meantime while more EVs are sold and these EV owners start installing fast chargers in their homes. Get ready for exploding undersized transformers in the near future. PG&E does not maintain their equipment.

Convert the site to a Thorium Salt reactor. Feed it all the old nuclear waste sitting on site. Then contract with other Nuclear facilities to eat their nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain is not happening. We can use these safer Thorium reactors to “eat” all the waste we’ve built up within a couple generations. Versus creating more waste, with no disposal plan, well into the future. Invest now for a cleaner, cheaper, future. And yes—Nuclear power has a place In creating a cleaner world.

Another bailout to Monopoly PGE that has raised it’s rates over and over again until now it’s equal to a car payment every month. Who ever has the power and money rules the roost and what comes out their ass is spread among the people

So, taxpayers will be on the hook for at least 1 billion. But the bigger question is who will be liable for the potential disaster involving the millions of pounds of toxic radioactive waste that is being held in officially “temporary” storage facilities at Diablo Canyon. The waste will need to be stored and monitored for at least 10,000 years. That comes at an incredible cost that will more than likely be paid by tax payers. If there is an accident, the cost will skyrocket to unbelievable levels. One things for sure, nuclear is not cheap. (but more modern, state of the art nuclear power plants, not Diablo, create much less toxic, radioactive waste, and can be operated, much more efficiently and economically.)

So are the ratepayers who have been paying extra for the shutdown going to get their money back?, or the entities who received taxpayer money to offset the tax loss going to pay it back?

Or will they rescind the new tax on rooftop solar users that was imposed as soon it was revealed that the state would bail out Diablo. Obviously, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Why not take that $1.1 billion and outfit as many houses as possible throughout the state with solar panels? The answer, of course, is that corporations can’t make a profit from rooftop solar. Read more here:

“The answer, of course, is that corporations can’t make a profit from rooftop solar.”, actually it is more like The politicians can’t make money without the “donations” for corporations. For those who cry for public funded elections, in part we already have that, corporations like PG&E will use some of this taxpayer $1.1 billion to elect the politicians who in turn will vote their way, in this case to increase the coast of rooftop solar and by reducing what PG&E has to pay for excess solar production.

You’re entirely correct. But I don’t see SCOTUS decisions such as Buckley v. Valeo or Citizens United being rescinded anytime soon.