In a recent canine column (“Zombie Power: Governor Newsom Brings Diablo Canyon Back from the Dead,” July 27, 2022), Nick Welsh makes a big deal of the proximity of earthquake faults to Diablo. That’s a fair argument.
Nick also grants that nuclear power is “carbon free” (though he doesn’t mention that it’s our only such source of industrial-strength electricity).
So, the question: Would he be in favor of nuclear power in places where there aren’t major earthquake faults, say in the Midwest?
As a side note, I saw this questionable assertion slide by: “Retrofitting the plant to seismic safety standards didn’t pencil out when renewable fuels had grown too competitively low…” Using the word “competitive” makes it sound as if this is about market competition. But the only reason wind and solar are “competitive” is that the California legislature has declared them so. Were it not for legislative subsidies and decrees, no rational utility operator anywhere would be using wind or solar.
I suspect that what really bothers Nick is the nuclear waste problem. That problem is solvable too; we could do as the French do and reprocess our “spent” fuel into new fuel rods. The reason that what we currently define as nuclear waste is such a problem is that most of the “waste” is actually usable fuel.
We’ll know environmentalists are serious about reducing CO2 emissions when they embrace nuclear as the cleanest, safest way of generating electrical power.