Letters to the Editor: If Diablo Canyon stays open, don’t let PG&E profit from it
To the editor: I oppose nuclear power because wherever we decide to store spent nuclear fuel, that part of our finite planet is sacrificed. There is also the inherent risk. (“10 more years of nuclear power? Gov. Newsom needs to make the case,” editorial, Aug. 16)
However, these are fait accompli, so why not leave the nuclear Diablo Canyon Power Plant open past 2025, as Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to do?
Because leaving the San Luis Obispo County plant open would be strictly for the benefit of ratepayers, owner Pacific Gas & Electric Co. should not be allowed to profit from this extension. The energy generated should be sold at a rate that just pays for the maintenance and insurance of the plant.
One cost that would be important is hiring independent auditors to ensure that PG&E does not profit.
Gregg Ferry, Carlsbad
To the editor: While it’s somewhat surprising that Newsom would hang his political aspirations on the coattails of PG&E, which just emerged from a criminal probation during which it pleaded guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter, at least he’s revealing his true colors.
It’s also interesting to note that, while Newsom initially conjured up extending the Diablo Canyon license in 2020, it was also the same year Diablo sprung a radioactive leak due to its age and extensive corrosion.
It’s disappointing that he’s trying to break a 2016 legal commitment to close the plant; that’s outdone only by the betrayal of the sacred trust of the public’s safety with his risky business.
Now, his rush to pass legislation for a $1.4-billion forgivable “loan” to PG&E to keep Diablo Canyon open should be a huge red flag for any legislator who associates themselves with such fraud.
Nina Babiarz, La Mesa
To the editor: The editorial on the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant made a naïve assertion that is harmful in addressing climate change. A stable source of non-carbon-producing energy is needed. Nuclear power fills that gap.
You blithely speak of using wind farms, geothermal plants and battery storage for when the sun goes down. This ignores the reality that the wind doesn’t always blow, only certain areas are viable for geothermal and have technical hurtles, and that battery storage capable holding enough power to serve even a small city is still mostly a pipedream.
Wishing something to be true doesn’t make it so and misinforms the public. Nuclear power is a necessary element to de-carbonize our power supply.
Extending Diablo Canyon may not be the best approach; perhaps newer nuclear power plants should be built as stopgap until the technology for the practical storage of renewable energy is readily available.
Richard Green, Ventura