Canyon, that is. Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission ratified the plan to shut down California’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, even though, as one of the last nuclear power plants built, it could easily be re-licensed for another 20 years. As reported here previously, right now Diablo Canyon produces twice a much electricity as all of California’s solar panels, and PG & E is closing Diablo Canyon largely because of the state political mandate that electric utilities source 50 percent of their power from “renewable” sources by the year 2030, and nuclear power doesn’t count. (Neither do hydroelectric dams, either. California has essentially mandated that its future electricity needs will be met by wind and solar power and unicorn batteries.)
If you care about rising greenhouse gas emissions, this is completely stupid. In the real world, the gap left by the shutdown of Diablo Canyon will almost certainly be filled more by natural gas and electricity imports from out of state, and California greenhouse gas emissions may actually rise again, as they have in Germany lately. And amazingly, some environmentalists actually grasp this at long last. Get a load of this story from Grist, which is otherwise a deep greenie site:
By Eric Holthaus
After holding steady for the past three years, global carbon emissions rose in 2017 by an estimated 2 percent. That increase comes amid the largest renewable energy boom in world history.
That irony points to what I see as an inescapable conclusion: The world probably can’t solve climate change without nuclear power.
Well, better late than never, but one reason the nuclear industry is essentially dead is the complete hysteria of environmentalists a generation ago—the legacy of which lives on at most environmental advocacy groups today.