Save Diablo Canyon so it can continue to supply massive quantities of clean power 1

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  1. It’d sure help if just a sliver of California’s oodles of cause-celebs and avant garde activists chimed in support of nuclear-clean air and environment. Their silence is killing.

    BTW the NYC media today is going nuts over a radioactive reading that’s out of place at Indian Point (the WCBS-Radio female reporter even quipped that ANY radiation is very bad to get) — and even the Gov chimed in to assure the media and public while holding an axe behind his back. It’s these very FUD media eruptions that’s tailor-made for nuclear media and nuclear organizations to raise their heads and knock on the media’s door to straighten them out with some real life perspective.

    Remember Shoreham!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. Thanks Rod. Shellenberger’s Environmental Progress site is pretty much a place-holder at present., but no-doubt worth bookmarking.

    R.e. Diablo Canyon, I wrote a short Letter to the Editor of The Denver Post a few months ago. It wasn’t published, but is available online along with some supplementary material here.

  3. Excellent!

    “In 2011, the California Council on Science and Technology performed an analysis on behalf of the California Energy Commission, which concluded nuclear power must grow seven-fold — from about 15 percent of the state’ss electricity mix to 65 percent by 2050, to meet demand and emission targets.”

    This would mean 8 more Diablos! We have 1 already, if they fix San Onofre’s stem generator. http://tinyurl.com/mem8lhq
    ;]
    We should always remember the Sierra Club picked the site for Diablo when Humbolt Bay was found defective, and the club’s motto was: “Atoms, not dams”. Remind your Sierra friends often.

    1. Alex

      UCB hosts the William E. Colby Memorial Library of Sierra Club archives. If I lived anywhere close to Berkeley, I’d take a day or so with an iPhone in my pocket to peruse those archives and find some clear documentation of the way that the Sierra Club’s position on nuclear energy evolved (or went through sudden changes based on individual actions/organized pressure.)

      I would love to host images from the Atoms not Dams campaigns here on Atomic Insights.

      1. Regarding the very anti nuclear Sierra Club, everybody should remember they were outed in a 2012 Time Magazine article accepting $26 million dollars “secretly” from Chesapeake Energy.

        Friends of the Earth (FOE) is another hysterically anti nuclear “environmental” group despite nuclear being the producer of 63.3% of America’s CO2 free electricity. Is there another fossil fuel connection to be found with FOE? That’s another job for investigative journalism.

        The people of America benefit from cleanly produced atomic power, but the fossil fuel companies supporting our media don’t. Check ads on big media like 60 Minutes and conclude why they have never covered benefits of nuclear energy but do fear stories frequently.

    2. I think you mean “Bodega Bay”.
      Humboldt Bay was where they installed that itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot BWR.

  4. It’d be interesting to know how many re-opened or new California nuclear plants also devoted to producing fresh water could mitigate the alarming Lake Mead drought situation. They just built a new water tunnel there at near the cost of a nuclear plant that’s still regarded an “interim solution.”

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  5. My reaction to these articles was, I didn’t know Diablo needed saving. Can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Say it ain’t so.

    But, alas, efforts to save it probably are required. It is actually pretty clear that San Onofre’s closure was politically (vs. economically) forced. Installing yet another set of steam generators and running San Onofre would have been far cheaper than any other means of generation. It seems clear to me that So. Cal Edison realized the degree of political opposition to its operation existed in the state (and how they would continue to make their life all but impossible) and they just cried uncle.

    And now we’re hearing that they’re coming after Diablo, the last plant. With all this additional earthquake study BS and BS about water intake effects. Not just from the predictable anti-nuclear NGOs, but from future gubenatorial candidates like Gavin Newsom. Using minor environmental concerns (fish impacts, etc.) in order to increase burdens and costs, as a means to close the plant, which will result in environmental harm of far greater significance. In other words, despite all hyped issues, the fact is that the state (the Coastal Commission, etc..) will effectively cause the closure of the plant even though the overall net environmental (let alone economic) impact of its closure will be overwhelmingly negative.

    It’s getting pretty depressing, the fact that we are having to make such tremendous efforts, not to make progress, but just to prevent things from moving backwards. (Merely slowing the rate that things move backwards, actually.)

    1. It is depressing. We’re basically down to fighting holding actions, trying to keep what we have. That’s playing defense. While defense might win football games, it’s a loser in almost every other endeavor.

      The only ray of hope I see is that advocacy groups seem to be springing up here and there. Sometimes its too little too late (e.g., Vermont Yankee), but it might save others (DCNPP among them). Its a shame we can’t seem to get industry advocacy groups more engaged (NEI and ANS, for example). But NEI says lobbying Congress is their business, and ANS cries poor. That leaves it up to the destitute folks (most of us here) to carry the ball. Meanwhile the barbarians have breached the gates and are flush with cash from their 501c3 benefactors.

      1. Re: “… Its a shame we can’t seem to get industry advocacy groups more engaged (NEI and ANS, for example). But NEI says lobbying Congress is their business, and ANS cries poor. ”

        Geeze, it sounds SO much like passing the buck! Is it any wonder nuclear’s repute’s in the toilet here? This is why I’d really love to see the Atomic Show gang grilling the media affairs officers of these and other nuclear power advocacy organizations. And maybe also some used-car salesmen and the ad crew for Puppy Rescue to show how successful mass promotion’s done in America’s largest $$ city (near a nuclear plant under media assault) on a sub-shoestring office-coffee budget.

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

        1. To be honest, there have been times I have been disappointed in the ANS response (crying poor). I know its a small organization as professional societies go, but the membership has usually been supportive of the advertised efforts at public outreach. I know in my case every year I also pay the amount for Benefactor even though my emeritus dues are more than a factor of two less than this. I am told those extra payments go to things like Public Education & The Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information, Scholarships for Economically Disadvantaged Students (NEED), and other academic scholarships. While those certainly sound like good efforts, our industry is fighting for its life in the public mind, and ANS has to step into the breach no one else does. I know we all do what we can as individuals, but our opponents are well-funded on a national scale. It will probably take a similar effort to counter that.

      2. Re: “… Its a shame we can’t seem to get industry advocacy groups more engaged (NEI and ANS, for example). But NEI says lobbying Congress is their business, and ANS cries poor. ”

        Geeze, it sounds SO much like passing the buck! Is it any wonder nuclear’s repute’s in the toilet here? This is why I’d really love to see the Atomic Show gang grilling the media affairs officers of these and other nuclear power advocacy organizations. And maybe also some used-car salesmen and the ad crew for Puppy Rescue to show how successful mass promotion’s done in America’s largest $$ city (near a nuclear plant under media assault) on a sub-shoestring office-coffee budget.

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

  6. We should be building another 20,000-24,000 MWs to cover all of baseload — the minimum load in winter time (Under ISO jurisdiction, that’s about 19,000MWs so with another non-ISO run generation, another 4,000MWs) and some past base load amounts (DCNPP’s 2400MWs).

    To cover the peak loads of summer time plus 40,000 MWS (plush another 8,000 or so non-ISO controlled gen) we’d need a whole fleet of SMRs with fast load changing capability, then we could eliminate natural gas…and I can go back to using for cooking like god meant me too!

  7. I’ve toured Diablo Canyon four times and marveled at this clean, well managed place more on each visit. The area near San Luis Obispo is noted for its sparkling clear air. No gray-brown haze dirties the skyline, yet this amazing plant produces 2 billion three hundred million watts of clean power day and night and has for over 30 inicident-free years.

    Diablo Canyon will also soon share clean water from its desalination plant with nearby communities to fight the dire drought plaguing all of the State.

    The State should be building more of these clean power plants that can desalinate sea water as a byproduct and not produce more global warming CO2 in the process.

  8. Here’s what we’re going up to our CEC in Sacramento tomorrow to tell them to table it and not vote for it…
    https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Lists/DocketLog.aspx?docketnumber=15-IEPR-01
    Feel free to add your own docket entries for 15-IEPR-01

    It adds to our growing reputation as the gas state. And we sure know how to pass gas…

    http://www.2greenenergy.com/2016/02/08/methane-leakage-and-climate-change/
    https://www.alisoupdates.com/acu-aliso-canyon-air-sample-results (SoCalGas data)
    https://www.edf.org/climate/aliso-canyon-leak-sheds-light-national-problem (8 million tons-CO2)

  9. I haven’t any information on Diablo Canyon or California’s installed wind turbine capacity, but I have done some simple arithmetic in comparing the UK’s Hinkley Point C, 3.2 GW EPR and the whole of the European Union’s installed wind power capacity.

    There’s 128.8 GW of installed capacity – that’ll be about 64,000 x [average] 2 MW onshore and offshore wind turbine and the delivery of their upee/downee/zeroee electricity can be equalled by 3.75 Hinkleys that on a site not much more than 1 mile square. It’s all detailed here:
    http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/what-375-hinkleys-will-deliver-as-much.html

    Why doesn’t one of you Diablo Canyon supporters do the same for California? I’m sure the comparisons will be as stark and should be put if front of your political representatives, the media and the public at large.

    1. @ Colin Megson we have, see my link above. As of Dec 2014 California had installed 6 GW wind capacity over a 33 year period, enjoying a 26% capacity factor and producing 13.8 TWh that year. Diablo Canyon averages only 17 TWh each year — the same as California’s entire current in-state hydro production.

      1. Sorry to say I couldn’t face the effort of trying to understand the complexity of your letter.

        Not much to be gained by bothering to compare hydro and nuclear – you are where you are and I imagine new hydro will not be on the cards for many decades to come.

        However, the insidious success of the wind power industry has been a big contributor in holding back the progress of nuclear and there’s much to be gained by pointing out the pathetic amount of electricity delivered by wind turbines, compared to the vast quantity delivered by a nuclear power plants.

        I urge you to take my approach to calculate the total TWh of electricity delivered by a nuclear power plant over a 60 year design life [Diablo Canyon – 1024 TWh] and the cumulative amount delivered by 6 GW of wind turbines over their 20 year lifespan [276 TWh].

        You’d have to install 3.7 x more wind turbine capacity – that’s 22.26 GW – to get the same amount of electricity as 2.24 GW Diablo Canyon.

        Maybe you could then compare the capital cost of installing 22.26 GW of wind farms compared to installing 2.24 GW of new nuclear.

        1. Thanks for your feedback Colin.

          At various times I have in fact made the very calculations you suggest. And I am aware there will be little or no new hydro in the American West, including California. I am also aware there will be no new nuclear in California either, for the foreseeable future.

          As there will be no new California nuclear build, I am trying to quantify the environmental value of their one remaining plant in units to which environmentalist might relate.

          “TWh/yr reliable emission-free base load power” does not seem to be one of them.

          So I’ve been trying units like “hydro generation capacity of the entire Colorado River Basin”, see how they fit. In this particular case we are dealing with an existing nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon. It’s paid for, capital costs of a new one are irrelevant. Capital cost of wind replacement, is. Or might be. The actual number of wind turbines — roughly 4,000 — their cost, or the cost of fracked gas backup — is not. Californians (poa notwithstanding) want more wind, not less. 4,000 more 2 MW turbines is a Good Thing.

          I tried to quantify the time and environmental cost of that Good Thing in terms of what California has installed already: What wind California has installed already generates 13.6 TWh/y / 17 TWh/y = nearly (or only) 80% of what Diablo Canyon generates each year.

          Regardless the outcome of license hearings, Diablo Canyon isn’t going away for another ten years. Surely California is good for 400 new 2 MW turbines a year for ten years?

          Unless of course, carbon emissions are actually a concern. They might be, which is why I tried to quantify the output of Diablo Canyon for its proposed 20 year extension to an equivalent generation by gas or coal. 4,000 wind turbines — plus a side order of fracked gas — (or 2 GW gas plus a side order of wind) might just as readily displace 2 GW of reliable base-load coal, and effect a 2.5-fold emissions decrease in the process.

          As opposed to keeping the coal, and replacing Diablo Canyon with wind + fracked gas, and increase CO2 emissions by 40%. Which is what Californian environmentalists fervently desire. Everybody needs an excuse to burn more fossil fuels: the Anti-Nuclear Crusade is theirs.

          The question is how to show them that? I’ve failed with you, and you’re already convinced. As time permits I’ve been reformatting the DC letter material into a Power-Point slide presentation, the better to convince others.

          I am not fond of Power Point. It takes a lot of time. Any constructive suggestions about how one might make a more coherent argument are very welcome. Any links that quantify the gas replacement to San Onofre, and the emissions kick after it closed, are also welcome. I’ve seen Angwin and Conca’s numbers for Vermont Yankee. They aren’t pretty.

          Thanks!

  10. Ed Leaver
    February 10, 2016 at 8:16 PM
    As of Dec 2014 California had installed 6 GW wind capacity over a 33 year period, enjoying a 26% capacity factor and producing 13.8 TWh that year.

    At a scenic and natural landscape cost that’s helping to run rural homeowners and tourism out of the state.

    1. “At a scenic and natural landscape cost that’s helping to run rural homeowners and tourism out of the state.”

      Please provide a basis for that comment. I doubt you can.

  11. “It heavily subsidizes or mandates wind and solar energy, giving the impression that it is replacing clean nuclear power with other forms of clean power, but the numbers show that those sources are not providing anything close to the same total amount of electricity as the shuttered nuclear units. ”

    I have the feeling Mr Adams has no clue what he is talking about, or he receives “funds” from somewhere to share biased information.

    Fact is Diablo Canyon produced 8.6% of Californias energy in 2014 while more than 12% came from Solar and wind alone. Yes 22.5% of Californias energy is generated and supplied by renewables including hydro and thermal.

    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html

    The 8.5% supplied by Diablo canyon are insignificant and it is insane supporting the continued operation of the plant considering the fact that the plant is designed in the 60s and sitting on fault lines.

    Shame on you Mr Adams

    1. @Pete

      Please reread my post so that you can see I was referring to the output of all of the California nuclear power plants that were shutdown long befor their end of useful life. That includes three units at San Onofre (2 x 1070 MWe, 1 430 MWe) one unit at Rancho Seco (915 MWe) and one unit at Humbolt Bay (63 MWe). That is a total of 3,500 MWe compared to the 2100 MWe of the sole remaining CA plant.

      I also did not compare to total “renewables” but just to wind and solar. The hydro has been in CA for a very long time; it is highly unlikely that more capacity will ever be built.

      Once you have reread my work, I’d happily accept an apology.

  12. As the 8th largest economy in the world, ranked 20th in global CO2 emissions, California can no longer ignore billions of people suffering in poverty, and tens of millions dying annually from energy poverty and air pollution: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/ http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/3-MP-PovertyFacts-E.pdf.

    Fossil fuels are projected to dominate for decades, and renewables will not significantly help meet energy demand, nor emission targets: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/eia-forecast-fossil-fuels-remain-dominant-through-2040/.

    We either start making decisions based on scientific consensus, or some other metric which will insure smarter species evolve to replace humans: http://www.pewinternet.org/interactives/public-scientists-opinion-gap/.

  13. What can we as citizens do? Who do we write, what political science do we need to contact!
    We need to alert folks about how they can help!
    Thanks

    1. @Cher Mars

      Funny you should ask. I received the following message a couple of days ago, but haven’t yet had the chance to take action:

      Hi,

      To get California and the nation on emission-free, proven, clean power and off dirty, earth-killing fossil fuel. Global warming is worsening. We must lead the world away from fossil fuel energy.

      That’s why I created a petition to The California State House, The California State Senate, and 3 others.

      Will you sign this petition? Click here:

      http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/build-clean-nuclear-plants?source=c.em.mt&r_by=

      Thanks!