Greens Rally for California’s Last Nuke. No, Really.
It’s not every day you see environmental groups petitioning a government to keep a nuclear power station open—against the wishes of an apparently reluctant owner. But that’s the man-bites-dog story playing out on the scenic coast of southern California, where the state’s last operating nuclear generating station faces licence renewal.
Built in the late 1960s, the Diablo Canyon station generates about a tenth of the entire state’s electricity, nearly 10 GWh per year. Operating licenses for its two units expire in 2024 and 2025. Its owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, has been slow to initiate their renewal, expressing concern about its location near a major geological fault.
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But a coalition of well-known environmentalists, including Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand and climate scientists James Hansen of Columbia University and Kerry Emanuel of MIT, have signed a letter urging California Governor Jerry Brown to renew the plant’s license through 2040, lauding Diablo Canyon as “the largest single source of clean energy in California,”
Climate adaptation makes for strange bedfellows.
(Hansen’s pro-nuclear stance on carbon reductions is open to challenge.)