Editorial: No, California shouldn’t extend the life of its last nuclear plant. There are better ways to fight climate change

The Times Editorial Board | Los Angeles Times Link to article

California is approaching an energy crossroads. In three years, its last nuclear plant will begin to power down and the state will lose its largest single source of emissions-free electricity.

A 2018 law requires state regulators to “avoid any increase in greenhouse gases” as a result of closing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on the Central Coast. But if they don’t move more quickly to replace its electricity with renewable energy from wind, solar and geothermal, the void will almost certainly be filled by burning more natural gas, which increased last year to account for nearly half of California’s in-state electricity generation.

California can’t allow the retirement of Diablo Canyon’s nuclear reactors to prolong its reliance on gas plants or increase planet-warming and health-damaging emissions. But the state’s preparations for shutdown of an around-the-clock power source that supplies more than 8% of California’s in-state electricity generation have not inspired confidence; there have been no assurances that an uptick in carbon emissions will be avoided.

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