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Letters to the Editor: How desperate is California for Diablo Canyon’s nuclear power?

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant along the coast.
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County is slated to be decommissioned in 2025.
(Joe Johnston / The Tribune of San Luis Obispo / Associated Press)

To the editor: In saying he may attempt to delay the closure of Diablo Canyon, the state’s last operating nuclear power plant, Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed concern about projected energy shortages.

Perhaps he hasn’t read the April 15 letter to the editor in the Capitol Weekly by the director of the California Public Utilities Commission, which states: “The State has ordered an unprecedented amount of new clean energy procurement — 11.5 gigawatts — to replace the retirement of Diablo Canyon (along with other aging gas plants that are retiring). This includes wind, solar, batteries, geothermal, and long duration storage that will be online starting in 2023.”

California has been given seven years’ notice to replace dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear energy with truly clean power. Any portion of the $6 billion in federal money that Newsom may seek to keep Diablo Canyon operating would be better spent on further increasing clean energy production.

Didn’t I just read that California has a projected $68-billion budget surplus?

Jill ZamEk, Arroyo Grande

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To the editor: Possibly delaying the closure of Diablo Canyon is good news in a land where the bottom has just dropped out of hydroelectric power due to record drought and new solar farms are endangering Joshua trees and setting birds on fire, amid all this political rhetoric about moving everything in society to electric power.

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Somebody had to see that this electric emperor had no clothes, and I am glad Newsom woke up and may do the right thing.

Nuclear power today is infinitely better designed and safer, cheaper and more reliable than it once was. Dragging up the old tired ghosts of Three Mile Island (commissioned 1974) and Chernobyl (commissioned 1977) is not productive given that these plants were poorly designed by engineers in the 1960s using slide rules and outdated technology.

We can do 1,000 times better and safer today.

Mike Post, Winnetka

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To the editor: California’s coastline boasts 840 miles of water in constant motion. This source offers gargantuan amounts of guaranteed clean energy. Tidal energy must be tapped.

Keeping Diablo Canyon, which offers only 6% of this state’s massive energy needs, is short-sighted and dangerous.

Perhaps it’s time consumers start creating co-ops, like apartment dwellers in New York City, wherein we start harnessing energy for ourselves. It’s time we take our power back.

Sarah Turitto, Cardiff, Calif.


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