California is considering keeping its nuclear power plant amid concerns of energy shortages.
The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is California’s last operating nuclear power plant. It was scheduled to be shut down by 2025, but now Governor Gavin Newsom is reconsidering.
In 2020, California suffered from blackouts during summer heat waves due to an overtaxed power grid. It seems Californian officials may be trying to avoid similar situations by extending the life of the power plant.
California’s move to renewable energy appears to have left the state short on energy during surging heat. Nuclear energy may be a solution to the energy shortage.
The Diablo Canyon plant produces 9% of California’s energy. However keeping the plant online isn’t as easy as it sounds. The extension would require renewal of permits, ordering more reactor fuel, and ordering more storage caskets for fuel waste.
A new tax and energy bill which passed the senate Sunday might influence a reinvigoration of the nuclear energy sector. Nuclear power companies could receive a $30 billion tax credit.
California isn’t the only one reconsidering nuclear power. Germany, which is facing an energy crisis of its own, is taking another look at nuclear.
Germany’s last three nuclear power plants are scheduled to be shut down by the end of this year. Before Germany started shutting down its plants, it had 17 nuclear power plants.
Many German homes rely on gas to provide heat. With winter quickly approaching, German officials are considering whether to push back the power plant shutdowns by a few months in order to have enough energy to make it through the winter, reports Politico.
In 2011, before Germany began shutting down the power plants, the plants produced 23% of the country’s electricity. As of 2021, Germany’s nuclear power plants still produced 12% of the country’s energy.