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Nuclear power receives its death sentence in California: Regulators vote to shut down Diablo Canyon via San Diego Union-Tribune

Under Thursday’s decision, Unit 1 will close in 2024, and Unit 2 is scheduled for retirement in 2025, the years the federal licenses for the respective units expire.

Located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Luis Obispo County, Diablo Canyon generates almost 18,000 gigawatt-hours of power each year, powering 1.7 million homes.

According to the most recent figures from the California Energy Commission, nuclear power accounted for 9.18 percent of the state’s power mix, without producing greenhouse gases.

Supporters of nuclear energy said closing Diablo Canyon will cause the state to use more natural gas — a fossil fuel — in order to replace the electricity generated by the plant.

“I’m sorely disappointed the CPUC has neglected the ratepayers and the environment,” said Gene Nelson, government liaison with Californians for Green Nuclear Power. “Solar and wind cannot be counted on …They’re subject to random interruptions.”

Environmental groups hailed the decision, which was expected after 17 months of filings and debate among parties in the CPUC review, but they were also concerned about what type of energy sources will be used to replace generation from Diablo.

“We really have to make sure that as we’re phasing out and getting rid of our nuclear power we’re not replacing it with dirty and dangerous fossil fuels like natural gas and that we’re moving to a 100 percent, clean, renewable economy,” said Dan Jacobson, state director of Los Angeles-based Environment California.

Commissioners expressed confidence that won’t happen.

“There’s no retreat from our strong commitment to our GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction goals,” commissioner Cliff Rechtschaffen said.

 

 

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