The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a press release today stating that they have signed a deal with PG&E PCG +0.10%, IBEW local 1245, the Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Environment California, and the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.
There is an implied quid pro quo. The groups will support PG&E’s request for an extension from the California Lands Commission of its land use permit that allows access to ocean cooling water at the Commission’s June 28 meeting. In return, PG&E will agree to withdraw its 20-year license extension application at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission . Instead, it will aim to retire the two-unit site when its current licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.
The press release claims that the electricity produced by the plant will be replaced with a combination of wind, solar, and “energy efficiency.”
“Energy efficiency and clean renewable energy from the wind and sun can replace aging nuclear plants — and this proves it. The key is taking the time to plan. Nuclear power versus fossil fuels is a false choice based on yesterday’s options,” said NRDC President Rhea Suh.
That’s a deceptive fig leaf; it is physically impossible for wind, solar and energy efficiency to replace the steady production of a nuclear power plant. Producing the same total number of kilowatt-hours each year is not the same as producing the same kilowatt-hours on a minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day basis.
Over at Friends of the Earth (FOE) they say:
Diablo Canyon is the nuclear plant that catalyzed the formation of Friends of the Earth in 1969. When David Brower founded Friends of the Earth the Diablo Canyon was the first issue on the organization’s agenda and Friends of the Earth has been fighting the plant ever since. This agreement is not only a milestone for renewable energy, but for Friends of the Earth as an organization.
Gosh, what will they do now? Get a new target I suppose. Maybe they’ll ask that California be the first “automobile free state” in the USA, after all, all the automotive manufacturing plants have already left California. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Bloomberg had the best headline: Losing a Nuclear Weapon Against Climate Change
Some environmentalists are thrilled at Tuesday’s announcement of the planned closing of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. They might want to reconsider: Fighting climate change requires more nuclear power, not less.
The losers in this plan, which is pending regulatory approval, are all those who will suffer the consequences of climate change. That Diablo Canyon’s two reactors could be allowed to shut down is alarming evidence that too little effort is being made to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The climate-friendly electricity that the Diablo Canyon plant generates, which amounts to about 9 percent of California’s power, would be lost.
Welcome to the darkness. You thought the Enron trading scam induced blackouts in California around 2000 were bad? Wait til 2025. Let’s all sit in the dark and chant kumabahya while we wait for wind and solar to come online again.