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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Nov 29, 2021

"Diablo Canyon is a well-performing nuclear power plant that has operated safely for nearly 40 years under the strict oversight of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Diablo Canyon’s nuclear generation produces clean electricity without harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and other combustion products. Additionally, Diablo Canyon’s energy is available around the clock in all seasons and weather conditions.

Closing California's remaining nuclear power plant will cause more grid instability and rolling blackouts for the state because Diablo Canyon reliably supplies approximately 10 percent of in-state power. Along with further weakening California’s fragile power grid, the premature closure of Diablo Canyon will deprive California of its largest carbon-free energy resource and worsen the state’s growing dependency on electricity from out-of-state fossil power plants. The premature loss of Diablo Canyon will result in millions of tons of additional greenhouse gas emissions per year, ruining state and federal plans for decarbonization.

Blackouts are harmful and deadly. During the August 2020 heatwave that strained California’s already overloaded power grid, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) ordered rolling blackouts across the state to cope with a power supply shortage of 4,400 megawatts that left approximately 3.3 million households in the dark and without air conditioning. The blackouts would have been far worse and more extensive without Diablo Canyon’s 2,240 megawatts of safe, reliable, fuel-secured, and dispatchable zero-emissions baseload power.

Solar, wind, geothermal, and battery storage will surely be an important part of any decarbonization plan for California, but the state will need every clean energy resource that it has – including Diablo Canyon – to meet its climate goals. A reliable grid requires a strong backbone of always-on and available baseload generation like Diablo Canyon. Intermittent sources alone cannot replace Diablo Canyon’s reliable 24/7 production of dispatchable carbon-free electricity for Californians. If the planned closure goes ahead, Diablo Canyon’s carbon-free electricity would be replaced by carbon-emitting natural gas- and coal-fired generation."

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Nov 29, 2021

It would be  a serious setback to lose this "climate friendly" resource.

Barry Jones's picture
Barry Jones on Nov 30, 2021

So very true Bob!

Henry Craver's picture
Henry Craver on Nov 30, 2021

I really hope California decision makers come to their senses on this one. The anti-nuclear energy movement in 2021 illustrates the danger of making perfect the enemy of good. I too dream of a day when our planet will be powered by renewables, but pursuing that goal too aggressively in the present dooms us to decades more of net emission increases. 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Thank Bob for the Post!
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