Sunday, February 25, 2024

Biden approves USD1.1B aid for California nuclear plant

President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday finalized the approval of USD1.1 billion to help keep California’s last operating nuclear power plant going.

The funding is a financial pillar of the plan to keep the Diablo Canyon Power Plant generating electricity until at least 2030—five years beyond its planned shutdown.

The terms of the aid package have not been released by the Department of Energy.

In 2016, plant operator Pacific Gas & Electric, environmental groups, and plant workers’ unions reached an agreement to shut down the four-decade-old reactors by 2025. But the Legislature voided the 2022 deal at the urging of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who said electricity is needed to prevent blackouts as climate change stresses the energy system.

Biden Approves Usd1.1B Aid For California Nuclear Plant

California is the birthplace of the modern environmental movement and, for decades, has had a fraught relationship with nuclear power. Environmentalists argue that California has enough power without the reactors and that their continued operation could stifle the development of new sources of clean energy. They also warned that a long-delayed test of one of the reactors posed a safety risk that could result in an accident, a claim disputed by PG&E.

The battle over the oceanfront plant located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco is playing out as the long-struggling nuclear industry sees a potential rebirth in the face of global warming. Nuclear power doesn’t produce as much carbon pollution as fossil fuels, but it leaves behind waste that can be dangerously radioactive for centuries.

Separately, PG&E submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20-year extension of licenses to operate the plant, mostly in the industry, but insists the state control how long the reactors last.

World Nation News Desk
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