Calif.’s last nuclear plant needed for 100% clean grid — experts

November 10, 2021

The only remaining nuclear power plant in California could help the state fight climate change, prevent electricity shortages and provide badly needed water if it remains open for another decade, according to a new report.

Factors have changed since Pacific Gas and Electric Co. decided in 2016 to close the Diablo Canyon plant in 2025, including the onset of a historic drought and the plant’s ability to power a desalination plant, said the report by Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The plant could also help to provide hydrogen for clean cars.

The researchers argued that Diablo Canyon should become a kind of mega-generation facility that produces electricity, desalinated water and clean hydrogen. That could increase the value of the plant by nearly 50%, and more if water prices increase substantially under worsening drought conditions, they said.

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