LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday proposed extending the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by five to 10 years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era.
The proposal to keep the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant running beyond a scheduled closing by 2025 gave new urgency to a decades-long fight over the seismic safety of the site. And critics depicted Newsom’s plan as a huge financial giveaway for plant operator Pacific Gas & Electric, while warning it would gut state environmental safeguards.
Newsom’s draft proposal includes a potential forgivable loan for PG&E for up to $1.4 billion and would require state agencies to act quickly to clear the way for the reactors to continue running.
The seaside plant located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco produces 9% of the state’s electricity. The proposal says its continued operation beyond 2025 is “critical to ensure statewide energy system reliability” as climate change stresses the energy system.