Biden grants PG&E $1.1 billion to maintain Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open
Aerial view of the Diablo Canyon, the one operational nuclear plant left in California, as a consequence of be shutdown in 2024 regardless of safely producing almost 15% of the state’s inexperienced electrical power energy, is seen in these aerial pictures taken on December 1, 2021, close to Avila Seaside, California.
George Rose | Getty Pictures
The Biden administration on Monday mentioned it is offering Pacific Fuel & Electrical Co. with a $1.1 billion grant to assist the corporate forestall the closure of Diablo Canyon, California’s final nuclear energy plant.
Diablo Canyon was initially scheduled to be decommissioned in two phases in 2024 and 2025, however state lawmakers in September voted to maintain it open for 5 extra years. PG&E utilized for funding within the Division of Power’s preliminary part of the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit score program aimed to maintain U.S. nuclear energy reactors open.
The conditional funding, which comes from the bipartisan infrastructure regulation handed by Congress final 12 months, creates a path ahead for Diablo Canyon to stay open and will enable PG&E to pay again a number of the $1.4 billion mortgage for the plant that lawmakers permitted.
Diablo Canyon is California’s single largest supply of energy, offering 8.6% of the state’s whole electrical energy and 17% of its zero-carbon electrical energy. It has helped the state grapple with energy shortages as temperatures in California proceed to rise and warmth waves develop extra intense with local weather change.
“It is a crucial step towards making certain that our home nuclear fleet will proceed offering dependable and reasonably priced energy to Individuals because the nation’s largest supply of fresh electrical energy,” Power Secretary Jennifer Granholm mentioned in a press release.
Nonetheless, critics of Diablo Canyon have identified that the plant, which is positioned subsequent to the Pacific Ocean in San Luis Obispo County, is susceptible to earthquakes and that there isn’t a everlasting waste disposal resolution.
Ultimate phrases of the grant are topic to negotiation and finalization, the Power Division mentioned, however the funding is designed to cowl PG&E’s anticipated losses from maintaining Diablo Canyon open. Not each plant that utilized to the Power Division’s program is receiving funding on this preliminary part.
The Biden administration has argued that nuclear energy is important to combating local weather change and to serving to it obtain its dedication of 100% clear electrical energy by 2035 and a net-zero emissions financial system by 2050.
“Nuclear power will assist us meet President Biden’s local weather targets, and with these historic investments in clear power, we will defend these services and the communities they serve,” Granholm mentioned.
Nuclear energy gives 50% of the nation’s carbon-free electrical energy, however shifting power markets and different financial elements have resulted within the early closures of 13 business reactors since 2013, the Power Division mentioned.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., mentioned in a press release that maintaining the Diablo Canyon plant open is important for the state to satisfy its clear power targets whereas persevering with to produce dependable energy. Feinstein mentioned she would monitor the funding course of to make sure strict security and environmental opinions are undertaken on the federal and state ranges.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom mentioned in a press release that the grant will present a limited-term extension of the plant and “assist reliability statewide and supply an onramp for extra clear power tasks to come back on-line.”