U.S. energy chief hints California may grant reprieve to its last nuclear plant

Reuters / Yahoo Finance

By Timothy Gardner

November 30, 2021


WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - California may reconsider whether to close its last nuclear power plant as public support has grown for the low-carbon energy source, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Reuters on Tuesday.


She added she was willing to eventually talk with state officials about keeping the Diablo Canyon plant open.


The Biden administration has expressed support for the nuclear power industry as crucial to its goal of decarbonizing the U.S. electrical grid by 2035.


"California has been very bullish on zero-carbon emission energy," Granholm said in a wide-ranging interview to be broadcast next week at the Reuters Events conference Energy Transition North America 2021 https://reutersevents.com/events/energy-transition-north-america, where leaders will discuss the move to clean energy.


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A report this month from researchers at Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) [and LucidCatalyst] said California should extend the life of Diablo Canyon to meet state climate goals.


Granholm said any decision on keeping Diablo open is up to California and did not indicate she had any information that regulators were set to change their position.

"This is clean dispatchable base load power. ... I know the decision has been made already to close it down, perhaps it's something that they might reconsider," she said.


And she hinted she would be willing to give her persuasion skills with officials in California, a state plagued with power outages and climate-related wildfires, a try. "Let's just get through this consent-based siting process first and certainly I'm willing to have those conversations."

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Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.