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    1. @Brian Mays

      In this case, the enemy has provided plenty of time to allow something better than a rearguard action. It is, of course, possible that we will not act with sufficient strength, but we have time to act.

  1. Normally, these letters end with a petition for rehearing, or for intervenor status, or if neither is possible, a threat to sue. Are any of these being pursued? (Otherwise, it sounds like “tut tut, you’d better not shut down a nuclear power plant again,” to which they could well reply “OK, we solemnly promise not to shut down any more nuclear power plants in California.”)

    1. @Stewart Peterson

      Yes, appropriate actions are being pursued. Many of the people coming together on this issue are not amateurs, though participation from eager amateurs who want to learn how to become effective is always welcome. There’s even room for amateurs who would prefer to just donate money or to occasionally come together with friends for a rousing session of sign holding, chanting, marching and singing.

      1. OK – hope it works and I’ll be following events. I merely mentioned this because the history of ineffective pro-nuclear activism is so long that I did not assume that “how to sue someone 101” was being followed, and if it is, great.

        Wish we could do something similar for Clinton and Quad Cities…

  2. Hoisted by the petard they (the antis) usually use. 🙂 It’s nice to see the pro side get some professional level help. Why NEI didn’t hire such help for nuclear communities years ago remains a frustration, but its great to see such a volunteer taking action.

    1. @Jeff Walther

      Despite protestations to the contrary, NEI member companies have not wanted any help to protect their plants. The member companies in competitive markets benefit when electricity production is constrained, especially when the constraint is permanent and comes by closing a fully depreciated asset that is quite expensive to own, whether or not it is running, if it remains in a condition that allows it to run.

      Not many nuclear plants operating in traditional service territories with rate regulated, monopoly, vertically integrated utilities with an obligation to serve have been closed or even threatened with closure.

      1. Which means that to preserve those plants at risk, we either have to have everyone go back to the regulated monopoly model, or level the playing field by getting rid of subsidies for unreliables and gas-fired plants (probably won’t happen), or have a “white knight” rescue those plants in distress. The only entity I see with the wherewithal to achieve the latter is the federal government, through some kind of semi-private agency that has a national scope rather than regional (e.g., TVA or BPA). Cuomo has already said he won’t agree to NYPA taking over Fitzpatrick. Too much risk for the state budget is my guess for the reason. If other states see this as a model, we can’t count on state assistance other than policy changes such as subsidies or tax breaks. But if a federal agency takes them over, if they can run at a profit then those excess funds beyond expenses can be pooled to cover the rainy days where the income is lacking to cover expenses. I don’t like having government involved like this, since the federal government is a notoriously unreliable business partner, but unless a private consortium steps in, funded by what I don’t know, I don’t see any other alternative.

        1. It’s speculation either way, Wayne. I’m not wildly optimistic about a Democratic Clinton administration playing “white knight” to nuclear power. Such a scheme would still rely upon the current operators e.g. Exelon to continue operations. Who else could do it? Meanwhile, all the antis in the Democratic base will be petitioning their government to shut the plants down anyway, or emplace such other obstacles to generation and sales that they might just as well.

          But you’re right, would still be better than losing the plants without a fight. (I think).

          There’s some buzz at Citizens’ Climate Lobby about Exxon apparently engaging a fair bit of low-level industry lobbying in favor of revenue-neutral carbon tax. I’m not wildly optimistic about the fossils industry going beyond lip service on that one either. But “it would be nice” if they did.

          1. @Ed Leaver

            I’m not as concerned about the Democratic base as I am about the party elites that will serve in key appointed positions in the Administration. That said, I’m very afraid of the kind of people that might end up serving in a Trump Administration.

            Choices are horrible this year unless we can make some fundamental changes that stimulate the base to express their strong attachment to reliable, affordable and clean electricity (in that priority order.)

          2. The choices this year are less than optimal. Trump has stated he’s in favor of nuclear but the guy has changed his positions on many things. Hillary’s supposed agnosticism makes me suspicious, especially when the rumor of her involvement in the IFR trashing is thrown in.

            So, its a dicey deal any way you look at it, but at this point I’m grasping at whatever straws might be out there to save these facilities from the scrap heap. The engineer in me looks at these perfectly functional machines worth billions of dollars and into which tens of millions of man-hours of labor has been invested and thinks it is worth the effort to find a way, even if it isn’t the best way, to save them. Some people complain all the time about “what we’re leaving our children” to deal with, but there is also the downside of what we are not leaving them if we throw away useful infrastructure that provides clean and abundant electricity.

            1. @Wayne SW

              I recommend joining Mothers for Nuclear, Environmental Progress, and, if you live in California, Californians for Green Nuclear Power.

              All are acting to save valuable nuclear facilities that are producing clean electricity in large quantities.

      2. Since the comments appear to be re-opened here, maybe we can go back for some perspective:

        The choices this year are less than optimal. Trump has stated he’s in favor of nuclear but the guy has changed his positions on many things.

        Well, we’ve had the proposed fuel security rule for power plants that came out of the Trump DoE.  This would have kept nuke plants running by making certain their costs were paid.  It was shot down by the FERC, as I recall, which Trump doesn’t have in his pocket yet.

        Do we have any other causes for optimism, or new pressure points we can work on?

        1. FERC only shot down DoE’s proposed solution. It is still working on the resilience/fuel security issue and attempting to come up with its own proposal that more closely aligns with its mandated missions.

          DOE’s GAIN program and its other nuclear energy Funding Opportunity Announcements are intriguing and appear to be moving in the right direction. They’re still a mere pittance compared to the scale of the energy industry and the support provided to wind and solar through PTCs and mandates, but still provide me with some optimism.

          X-Energy is making progress on an HTR fuel fabrication facility design and licensing effort.

          Terrestrial Energy just announced a project to investigate H2 production in partnership with Southern Company.

          I’m sure there are other positive notes to consider, though there are still plenty of reasons to be a Debbie Downer if that is your goal.

      3. Well, so far I’ve seen nothing regarding the FERC coming up with its own solution to this problem.  If it shoots down others and has none to add, then it’s a roadblock.

  3. Thanks for the post Rod!

    It is important to note that I did forward a list of relevant regulations and applicable County, State and Federal mandates to the SLC, prior to the 6/28/16 meeting.

    Unfortunately, this input was ignored, as were these comments to the California Energy Commission (CEC), in preparing their 2015 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update: http://docketpublic.energy.ca.gov/PublicDocuments/15-IEPR-11/TN205398_20150719T170914_Kirk_Gothier_Comments_Kirk_Gothier_Comments_on_Climate_Adaptati.pdf

    Until we complete the work in Attachment A of the CEC comments, and identify a clear path towards compliance with specified targets in California Assembly Bill 32, the EPA Clean Power Plan, and Paris Climate Agreement, billions will continue to live in poverty and tens of millions will die each year from energy poverty and air pollution.

    Tragically, the base will remain unstimulated, until we complete that work and Go Viral with it, to counter the nonsense in Mark Jacobson’s Solutions Project fantasy…

  4. Some of the CGNP technology experts are working on becoming CPUC Intervenors. If successful, we intend to vigorously focus on the concept of making energy policy decisions regarding nuclear plants “in the public interest.” This is relevant both to Diablo Canyon and San Onofre. Currently, it seems as if the policy decisions favor the economic elites, not the middle class.

    Here is a comment that I made in response to some 22 June 2016 Amory Lovins contentions in Forbes that shutting down DCPP is cost effective – and reduces carbon emissions. http://www.forbes.com/sites/amorylovins/2016/06/22/close-a-nuclear-plant-save-money-and-carbon-improve-the-grid-says-pge/ Please use this link to see Mr. Lovins’s response.

    “Smoke and Mirrors” is how I characterize Mr. Lovins’s article. Nowhere in the article does the term “capacity factor” appear. DCPP’s capacity factor (percentage of time available to power the grid) is more than 90%. On the other hand, solar’s capacity factor is around 20% and wind is about 30%. In order to determine the true cost per unit of energy produced. the “nameplate capacity” should be multiplied by the capacity factor.

    Mr. Lovins also does not mention the important terms “voltage stability” or “frequency stability.” Nuclear power provides both, while both solar and wind destabilize the grid with their stochastic intermittency. “Energy storage” does not appear, even though solar power requires it to supply power during the peak usage hours in the late afternoon.

    Topaz Solar Farm in eastern SLO County produced 1.301 TWh in 2015, per the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Topaz cost about $2.4 billion and occupies 9.5 square miles. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article66255217.html

    In comparison, DCPP generated about 18 TWh with a fully-burdened generation cost of about 4 cents/kWh (or $40.00/MWh), exclusive of distribution costs. To state the obvious, DCPP’s annual power production is about 13 times that of Topaz. DCPP produces about five times the annual power output of Hoover Dam, which has a nameplate capacity of 2,040 MW. (Hoover Dam’s capacity factor is being constrained by lower precipitation into its watershed, caused by global warming.)

    On 28 June 2016, Bloomberg News published an article, “China’s Idled Wind Farms May Spell Trouble for Renewable Energy ” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/trouble-in-renewable-energy-spotted-in-china-s-idled-wind-farms

    The Bloomberg News article notes “ protectionist” behavior regarding dirty coal, the preferred energy source in China.

    About a month ago, I observed a poster at the California Independent System Operator headquarters in Folsom, California which noted that 58.8% of California’s electricity was generated by burning natural gas. Furthermore, the California Energy Commission’s most recent publication (7 December 2015) regarding importation of dirty coal power to California, largely from Four Corners and Intermountain Generating Plants shows 18.342 TeraWatt-hours of coal-powered electricity in 2014. (Table 2) http://www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/tracking_progress/documents/current_expected_energy_from_coal.pdf In figure 1, coal-powered Imports showed an uptick in 2012, after the premature closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in January, 2012.

    I believe that the true motivator for the proposed shutdown of Diablo Canyon Power Plant is “franchise protection” for the incumbent natural gas providers in California and the out-of-state coal providers.

    Market manipulations after SONGS shut down boosted both energy prices and emissions. San Diego County, where SONGS is located now has some of the residential highest energy prices in the U.S., averaging about 28 cents/kWh. Despite abundant in-state energy resources, Californians are burdened with the 8th highest electricity prices in the U.S. at 15.23 cents/kWh. https://WWW.ELECTRICCHOICE.COM/BLOG/STATE-PROFILES-HIGHESTLOWEST-ELECTRIC-RATES/

    Thus actual California power bills, which reflect the high cost of “renewables” being mandated by special interests rebut the cherry-picked numbers supplied by Mr. Lovins. Natural gas and coal back up the inherent intermittency of both solar and wind in most parts of California. The choice and outsized quantity of those fossil fuels makes a mockery of California legislative mandates and the executive orders of Governor Brown regarding the reduction of emissions.

  5. Do you guys think that the threats from CA govt. agencies (requiring cooling towers, etc..) are the only/main reason PG&E got on board with this plan, or is it that the state’s RPS policy will truly render the plant uneconomical, or that they’ve just gotten tired of endlessly having to fight (against the anti-nukes and the CA govt.) to keep their plant operating? Or, as Rod suggests, will going along actually increase their profits, due to reduced supply or making margin on projects that are mandated by govt. (i.e., replacing nuclear with renewables, etc.)?

    If the utility itself is against us, it’s going to be an uphill battle for us, to say the least. Far more difficult than Illinois or New York, where the utilities would like to keep the plants running (if losses could be eliminated). We would have to somehow sue PG&E itself to disallow it from closing the plant? Or have the CA state govt. take over the plant to keep it running (comical, as they are actively trying to shut it down, even if it was economic).

    The letter above addresses the SLC effectively closing the plant down over water, seismic and other issues. If it was just that, it may be possible to fight it. It’s possible that PG&E would be willing to keep operating the plant if that threat were removed, and if that threat was the entire problem. But if the truth is that the state RPS policy will cause the plant to lose money, then PG&E will remain uncooperative. Do we try to use legal action to prevent Diablo’s closure against the utility’s will? Or do we try to use some legal action to get the state’s RPS repealed. Both equally unlikely, IMO.

    1. Sue the state to force the inclusion and grid dispatch of nuclear generation on the same terms as wind, solar and geothermal.

  6. Another question for you guys.

    How much time do you think we really have? You guys are familiar with how things work in the nuclear industry. How long things take, and how hard it is to change course after you start down a given path. How long do we have before things have been set on an inexorable path?

    For example, the SLC agreement states that the leases will automatically terminate if PG&E does not withdraw their NRC license extension application by 2018. Let’s say they do. And let’s say that later, things change (e.g., an increase in natural gas prices), so that the utility may want to reverse their decision. How far in advance does one have to submit a license extension application? Or start preparing one, actually?

    Isn’t their a “timely renewal” clause for such applications, i.e., that as long as you get the extension application in before termination of the original license, you can continue to operate while the application is reviewed. That’s the way it works with dry storage casks, and I thought that’s how it’s working with the Indian Point application.

    So, how long do we have? If we manage to change things, politically or legally, by say, 2022 or 2023, would that be enough time to change course?

    1. Preparing the license renewal application is a lengthy and costly process. I’m guessing at least two to three years to get it done and submitted. Then there is a carrier group-sized set of RAIs the NRC sends out, as well as intervenor contentions. But if you are timely filed, those can be dealt with aside from the license expiration date. FYI one thing I worked on in a previous life was a license extension for a research reactor. Much simpler technically but I’d say it took me about six person-months of labor to get it all packaged up and sent in. There were about three rounds of RAIs, but no intervenor contentions. The NRC issued the license extension about seven years after the application was submitted. They said they were busy with 9/11 issues, which I guess was true at the time.

  7. One of the guys who used to work at Trojan once told me that after it was shut down their PGE company president said he slept better. The guy said that the president had stated that half of his time was spent on Trojan.

    What is the incentive for the guys on top at PG&E to keep DCPP going? Those guys usually keep their jobs or have another in their back pocket. Wouldn’t the endless hassle with the anti nuke groups wear anyone down? Shut it down, build some gas plants, windmills, etc and pass the cost on to the ratepayers – maybe an easy choice.

    1. Eino

      That really sets me back. It shows you how difficult things can be for those who have dedicated their careers to building a useful and productive technology, and how deeply the combination of incessant harassment by anti-nuclear organizations and the overburden of regulation laid on by the NRC has wounded this benign and valuable enterprise. When those in charge have reached the end of their ropes in terms of keeping their own plants running, how can any of us hope to make a difference? Sure we can do our bit to show there is a sector of the public that supports and appreciates their efforts, but how far can that go in making their lives easier and relieving the burdens that others lay on them, that are not their fault, that they would “sleep better” without?

      And spare me the flames about “whining”. This industry is facing a crisis that threatens its existence, and we’d darned well better acknowledge and face up to it. When our own executives, those we look to for leadership and guidance, would rather do without us, where do we turn? Going it alone, while appealing in a romantic/heroic sense, won’t win the war. When the preferred path “forward” seems to be to destroy perfectly functional plants in favor of polluting and unreliable ones, something is badly amiss. When leaders of companies “sleep better” knowing their choices will destroy the lives of thousands of people, we cannot say with any sense of rationality that such is or should be the norm.

      1. @Wayne SW

        Perhaps part of the path forward as we work to reduce the burdens of owning and operating nuclear plants is to find a new set of investors and executives. Perhaps during a transition period, we need to attempt to harness the risk-taking and ingenuity that often leads to extreme success in other enterprises. The nuclear industry has a long established track record of mostly attracting and rewarding risk-averse, perfectionist plodders who want nothing more than quiet, steady state operations that produce reliable cash flows.

        Of course, there needs to be some hope of impressive returns on the investment. I’m sure that those returns are possible in the right kind of regulatory and public acceptance environment for the early adopters of a new model. This suggestion will not result in saving all of the currently operating plants, but it might put the industry on a much better footing for the kind of rapid growth that it needs to have in order to give our children and grandchildren a world with a more hopeful future than the one that exists today.

        1. Quite frankly, I think that suggestion would result in almost all existing plants shutting down, and being replaced with Gen IVs. I doubt existing plants *could* be run in an agile framework.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s the way to go – but it would result in a ton of upheaval in an industry that, as you have said, attracts people who avoid it. We would, basically, be seen as another group of anti-nuclear activists.

          1. @Stewart Peterson

            Even the best of the Gen IVs — including Adams Engines — would have extreme difficulty competing against a well-operated existing nuclear plant that is sensibly regulated.

          2. I’d love to be wrong, of course, but I was under the impression that controls and instrumentation (as well as the underlying plant systems) were not designed to allow operators to make rapid decisions (instead, that there are long procedures for everything, taking days to carry out in some cases). Plus, maintenance schedules reflect Navy best practices (i.e., stomp the problem flat and keep everything to spec all the time, whether it’s safety-related or not – the military spit-shine culture – and that Gen II systems were designed to assume this practice would be followed), and the existing machines have so much thermal inertia that they couldn’t load-follow if they wanted to, with some limited exceptions. That is to say, I was under the impression that technical limits built into the existing plants (not inherent to nuclear power, of course, but inherent to the existing machines) limit the business model.

            For example: the well-known effect on labor relations. My understanding is that unionized Gen II LWR staffs are basically given everything they ask for in negotiations, because if they suddenly walk off the job, the reactor melts down. Obviously, there are big incentives on their side not to do it (the plant will close and they’ll lose their jobs, or they’ll lose their SRO licenses, etc.), but a shutdown of a Gen II LWR is still a lot more expensive than a shutdown of a coal furnace, and reducing the probability of a strike is correspondingly more important to the utility, meaning the staff is paid more, making a shutdown still more expensive, ad infinitum. That is a big effect on the business model that new executives couldn’t do anything about.

            So is it worth it to make the necessary upgrades? Once we have a sensible regulatory system, the value of already having the operating license is much lower. Knock down that barrier to entry, and there’s a lot less incentive to upgrade existing equipment, compared to just building a new Gen IV on the same site.

          3. Maybe someone can bring me up to speed on the financing issues, but it would seem even a stripped down and economical Gen IV system built on an existing site would be more expensive than a fully amortized Gen II plant. The cost of issuing and paying off construction bonds (or whatever financing instrument is used) would add significant cost. Kind of like keeping your old car on the road versus financing a new one. Eventually you have to do the latter, but until then it would seem most economical to keep the old reliable, well-maintained unit functioning.

          4. Wayne SW,

            Look at how fast compounding interest raises financing costs over time. Turning a 36-month construction schedule into a 72- or 96-month construction schedule because of excessive NRC interference has a big impact. A sensible regulatory regime would not do that.

            You can buy a new car without going through a multi-year license review. Knock down that barrier to entry and a lot of new equipment makes economic sense that didn’t before.

          5. Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for investing in new infrastructure, especially if the regulatory paradigm can be changed to a more reasonable one, and also the industry steps up and comes up with innovations that will shorten construction schedules. But I don’t think it has to be an either-or choice. Look at a station like Clinton, which has a large number of useful lifetime years left. Same with DCPP. There are any number of sites that were originally planned for multiple units but only have one now. Use those sites for the Gen IV, and you’d have a fairly robust mixture of reliable, proven plants with the new breed that, while not having an operational history to point to, still offer the promise of reliability and zero-emissions.

          6. the existing machines have so much thermal inertia that they couldn’t load-follow if they wanted to, with some limited exceptions.

            I’ve pondered this, and I wonder if it isn’t possible to exploit it.

            What do you really need to do to keep a reactor happy?  So long as it’s getting a stream of feedwater at the same volume, pressure and temperature it could not care less what’s going on in the BOP.  You could e.g. slash the turbine steam flow by 90% and make up the lost volume in the feedwater heaters by throttling primary steam directly to them (perhaps with water to moderate the temperature), and send that steam elsewhere.

            What can you do with steam?  One possibility is regenerating CO2 sorbents.  Another is the sub-critical hydrothermal processing of lignocellulose for biofuels, and the distillation of the results; if you can e.g. crack and remove most of the biomass in municipal solid waste and turn it to fuel, you both create a product stream and slash the volume and potential methane emissions of the residue.  I’m sure there are plenty of other possibilities.

          7. Stewart Peterson

            Existing BWRs can load-follow down to 60% using recirc flow rate adjustment. Below 60% you get into issues with laying up feedwater heaters and condensate booster pumps. But that 40% leeway gives you some measure of flexibility. Not the preferred mode of operation, I know, but at least it counters the urban legend that nuclear plants cannot load-follow under any circumstances. I have often thought that a well-planned program with deployment of existing nuclear plant designs (LWRs available today) could decarbonize the entire electricity sector. Have a fleet of PWRs humming away at 100% power, with an overlay of BWRs that can do load-following on top of the baseload capacity. Nuclear could do it all. Throw in some fast-spectrum reactors that have a dual purpose of actinide burning and power production, and you’d come close to closing the back end of the fuel cycle. Sure, it might take three or four generations of SFRs to burn down the actinide inventory, but in the meantime those SFRs would be tremendous power producers.

          8. Why the claim that the present fleet of reactors can not “Load Follow?” I know for a fact, and tested to verify that the B@W NPPs were designed to load follow at a rate of up to 10% per minute (increase/decrease). Yes, this was higher than the others at the time, but not much, and it is not something to sneeze at. For some illogical reason the NRC, after TMI discouraged and eliminated the practice, in the name of “Safety” which is completely ridiculous and misguided. With the “Smart Meters, AC shedding boxes, Electric heat (Home and DHW) shedding boxes, even 5% per minute should be able to keep up with fluctuating wind, clouds, etc, affecting “unreliables, until the next generation is in service. five to ten percent of a gigawatt is a lot of wind turbines or solar panels. The loss would be nowhere near as much as the sudden loss of a CCTG or coal plant. Dig out the “TMI Lessons Learned” requirements and do a serious analysis of the true safety benefit and actual decrease in safety that these knee jerk, ill advised, actions achieved. Prior to TMI all B@W units could, and were tested to verify, a loss of load without tripping the reactor, runback to a “hot-standby” condition and to pick up the load from 100% power. I personally performed the test at several power levels approaching 100% and the final “design acceptance test” at 100% all in less than one shift. And there were several actual, unexpected, loss of loads that the operators went through during the course of normal plant operation that I am aware of, all of which also worked as designed.
            The present fleet of commercial NPPs and the way they are operated today remind me of the analogy of grandma buying a Ferrari to drive to church once a week, only worse, due to NRC regulations, and INPO “guidance.”

          9. Why run reactor power back?  Put any excess to work doing something that nothing else can do.

        2. Wayne, et al,

          With respect to a more reasonable regulatory paradigm, I think that SMRs could provide the justification for “starting afresh” with respect to regulations, requirements and fab QA standards. The rationale being their much higher level of inherent safety (i.e., orders of magnitude less chance of meltdown, due to fundamental properties), and their much lower potential release even in the case of a meltdown (again, due to small size and other inherent factors). Doesn’t have to anything fundamentally different like Gen IV, non-LWR reactors, either. Small LWRs (e.g., NuScale ot mPower) will suffice.

          This is the battle we need to fight. We need to insist that the regulations are requirements be remotely in line with the potential hazard. We need to insist on typical industrial standards being applied (i.e., similar to those applied to gas plants), at the plant site at least (if not at the SMR assembly line).

          The battle over what requirements will apply to SMRs is being fought right now, and it may be the most important battle of all with respect to nuclear’s future survival. Given that it will apparently require ~$1 billion and ~25 years for NuScale, from initial inception to operation of the first plant, it appears that things are not going to well with respect to that battle. It appears that the old ways of thinking remain thoroughly entrenched. Seriously, this is for an LWR that is merely scaled way down (and is thus obviously much safer).

          1. @Jim Hopf

            I agreed with you all the way to this:

            Seriously, this is for an LWR that is merely scaled way down (and is thus obviously much safer).

            Scale is only one of many refinements that NuScale has made to make their reactors simply safe. Their triple crown of safety means that there is no danger to the public from any event, even if the operators do nothing at all and even if all power is lost.

  8. Engineer-Poet wrote:

    “Why run reactor power back? Put any excess to work doing something that nothing else can do.”

    I’ve noted this before. There are many coal plants being retired. This site shows that there will be 340,000 MW retired. That is a lot of power.


    I would think there may be some advantage to selling steady- state power vs the intermittent power sources pictured on their site. Seems like nukes are the “natural” replacement and not other sources of power.

    1. There’s not just steady-state electric power.  There’s anything that can be done with heat at 275°C or lower.  If the capital cost of the equipment for that is low enough that you can run it at 40% capacity factor, and it’s tolerant of varying power input, you’ve got almost the perfect complement to electric generation for a constant-power nuclear steam source.

      1. Wasn’t that the idea of the Midland plant, a combined process steam for the chemical plant and electrical generator? Last time I was up there they had a gas-fired plant doing that job. The nuke got trashed back in the ’80s, IIRC. Bechtel fired a bunch of people because it got cancelled.

        1. It was re-powered as a NG combined-cycle cogen plant, the Midland Cogeneration Venture.  One of the reactor vessel heads went to Davis-Besse as a replacement after the discovery of really bad corrosion in the original.

          I know a retired Dow guy who laments that the project failed.

  9. It has been quite a treat watching this informed conversation evolve.

    Hopefully, the EPA Clean Power Plan “all of the above energy strategy” will take hold at some point, as the only practical path towards clean air and water, sustainable communities and prosperity: https://www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/fact-sheet-clean-power-plan-opportunities-nuclear-power.

    Thanks to all who participate in these insightful conversations, endure the drudgery of endless public hearings, and help inspire my weekly creative efforts: http://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/pursuit-of-happiness/Content?oid=3836971

    1. “It has been quite a treat watching this informed conversation evolve.”

      I second that. At first, I was afraid it was gonna turn into another “Democrats that, and Democrats this .. yadayadayada … leftists ….. yadayada ……”

      But this blog seems to be changing direction in that respect. Its my sincere hope that many here come to recognize who profits by political partisan division. The enemy is not one side or the other. The enemy, in fact, is an agenda shared by both sides of the political aisle. And by keeping the debate in the realm of partisan division, they render you impotent to institute change. Big business knows no party, and lines pockets without discrimination. Who profits by shelving NE? Thats the issue.

  10. The Supervisors of the County of San Luis Obispo, California (SLO County) all agreed at their August 20, 2019 meeting via agenda item 28 to become the “Lead Agency” for the decommissioning of Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Since that action, Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. (CGNP) has addressed the Supervisors during public comment periods of several subsequent Board of Supervisors meetings that the project definition is very important and must logically include cessation of operations of the currently operational Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP.) Presuming rational decision makers, the “no project alternative” e.g. the continued safe operation of Diablo Canyon Power Plant is the superior alternative and must be chosen. DCPP is located in District 3. Note also the District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill is up for re-election in March, 2020. He has remained on the fence regarding DCPP closure. CGNP has contacted his electoral opponent Stacy Korsgaden to help her to understand the important DCPP issue.

  11. Finally, after all these years of explaining that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is the Lead Agency, which should have acted Before any State Agencies, it is actually happening! Here are Gene Nelson’s notes from “February 16, 2022 2:00 AM PST


    “All: About 12 hours ago, the San Luis Obispo (SLO) County, California Board of Supervisors made history when they made a form of endorsement of the continued safe operation of Diablo Canyon Power Plant beyond 2025.

    I’ve attached CGNP’s prepared comments to the Board of Supervisors and my summary of key actions taken by the SLO County Board of Supervisors. As I note in my summary, the SLO County Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 1 with 1 abstention that the SLO County Board of Supervisors would send a letter to Governor Newsom asking that he do everything he can to work with PG&E to insure they have access to all necessary permits to keep Diablo Canyon Power Plant operational.

    This is good news for the California central coast and for the state. Additional supporting information is available on request.

    Gene Nelson, Ph.D. CGNP Legal Assistant
    Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. (CGNP)
    1375 East Grand Ave Ste 103 #523
    Arroyo Grande, CA 93420-2421
    (805) 363 – 4697 cell
    Government@CGNP.org email
    http://CGNP.org website “

    1. @Kirk Gothier

      Without disrespecting the hard word that has gone into pushing Gov Newsom to reluctantly agree to keeping one unit of Diablo Canyon open for another 5 years and the second operating for another 10 years, I am hugely disappointed.

      License renewals are labor intensive activities that also require a significant capital expenditure. Their cost tends to disappear into the weeds if the plant are operating and generating revenues for an additional 20 years after the initial license expires, but that isn’t a true statement if the extension only last a handful of years. Once one of the Diablo Canyon units are shutdown, the remaining unit will be even more expensive to operate because of the need to carry the burden of site overhead on the revenues of a single operating unit.

      IMO, no one should stop pressing forward now. We might have scored a field goal, but we are still way behind on the score board.

  12. Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. (CGNP) continues to advocate for keeping Diablo Canyon running well beyond 2030. Opponents of the continued safe operation are working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a proposed west-wide Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that was soundly defeated in California in 2018 with the rejection of California Assembly Bill 813 (AB 813). CGNP believes that if this plan is accepted, it will serve as a bar to further extensions on the relicensing of DCPP. If approved, Wyoming coal-fired power plants will become “West-wide reliability assets.”

    The plan, backed by Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) is called the Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP) The 308 page-long tariff is here: https://www.westernpowerpool.org/private-media/documents/ER22-2762_WRAP_Tariff_Filing.pdf , (The first 4 pages are a good summary). CGNP filed to become a Party in this Proceeding and filed an Answer on November 18, 2022. Please refer to https://elibrary.ferc.gov/eLibrary/filelist?accession_number=20221118-5198 .

    FERC’s Office of Energy Market Regulation (OEMR) raised concerns about the WRAP proposal and filed a 4-page “Notice of Deficiency” on November 21, 2022. The document is available for download at https://elibrary.ferc.gov/eLibrary/filelist?accession_number=20221121-3056 . FERC gives 30 days for plan proponents to cure the deficiencies. CGNP believes that the OEMR notice provides additional grounds to promptly attack this harmful proposal.

    CGNP also filed comments in the recently reopened CPUC proceeding A1608006. The 12-page long document is available here: https://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M497/K622/497622016.PDF
    CGNP’s filing provides a clear rationale for keeping DCPP running.

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