California’s last nuclear plant to close after unanimous vote by regulators

SFGate | 1/11/2018 | By David R. Baker
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IMAGE 1 OF 9 The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo will close by 2025, following a vote Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission.

California’s last nuclear power plant — Diablo Canyon, whose contentious birth helped shape the modern environmental movement — will close in 2025, state utility regulators decided Thursday.

Vote - California - Public - Utilities - Commission

The unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission will likely bring an end to nuclear energy’s long history in the state, even as California fights to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from conventional power plants. State law forbids building more nuclear plants in California until the federal government creates a long-term solution for dealing with their waste, a goal that remains elusive despite decades of effort.

“With this decision, we chart a new energy future by phasing out nuclear power here in California,” said commission President Michael Picker. “We’ve looked hard at all the arguments, and we agree the time has come.”

Diablo - Canyon - Shut-down - Blow - America

Diablo Canyon’s planned shut-down is the latest blow to America’s nuclear power industry, beset by plant closures and the cancellation of proposed reactors.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. opened Diablo Canyon in 1985 on a coastal bluff in San Luis Obispo County despite fierce opposition from environmentalists convinced that the plant’s proximity to fault lines — one of them just 650 yards away — posed a lethal risk. Waves of demonstrations, including one addressed by a young Gov. Jerry Brown, and mass arrests failed to block the plant.

Changes - California - Electricity - Market - Rise

But now, radical changes in California’s electricity market, including the rapid rise of renewable power, threaten to make the plant uneconomical to run. PG&E in 2016 reached an agreement with environmental groups and labor unions to retire Diablo Canyon when its two federal operating licenses expire in 2024 and 2025 and replace its output with renewable power and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: SFGate
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