California Environmentalists Fight To Save Endangered Nuclear Plant

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that an emergent environmental advocacy group has coalesced to advocate for saving the regulatorily imperilled Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (archived). The approximately 2.2 gigawatt plant currently provides 7 to 8 percent of California's electricity. Any non-nuclear replacement for the plant would require an energy expenditure relative to output 4 to 5 times greater than replacing Diablo Canyon with another nuclear plant, and a new nuclear plant would still require a greater capital outlay than continuing to operate Diablo Canyon. With energy prices in the United States falling to a point that prohibits new capital investment, these actual environmentalists are advocating for the outcome which minimizes the price in energy to keep the lights on in California.

4 thoughts on “California Environmentalists Fight To Save Endangered Nuclear Plant

  1. Add in the multi-year costs for "cooling" the spent fuel and then the long term (dry cask) storage costs, and that "cheap power" suddenly is no longer cheap.

    And that's assuming there's no spillages, accidents, cracks, welding problems, transport issues, sabotage, protests, etc. which would make certain costs skyrocket.

    • That sort of generation capacity is never "cheap" in an absolute sense, but it is cheaper than the alternatives by orders of magnitude.

  2. Perhaps one of you budding energy accountants could tell me how much oil was burned in mining, transporting, centrifuging, and processing the uranium needed to produce a single watt of power – neglecting all fixed overhead (plant construction, mining equipment, centrifuges, etc.).

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