Why Diablo Is Going Down

The “Plugging in to Renewable Energy” part of your Earth Day coverage erred in stating that Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is being shut down because it cannot compete economically with renewables. In fact, the shutdown decision is a result of a complex set of political and economic factors, perhaps foremost being that nuclear power cannot compete with cheap natural gas power generation. And it’s highly likely that once the plant is shut down, its power generation will be replaced by natural gas and not renewables, which cannot reliably substitute for Diablo Canyon’s 24/7 power. The net result will be a significant increase in California’s global warming emissions, certainly no “huge” win for the planet.

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