Energy security: LNG, nuclear

The possibility of a nasty earthquake caused disruption at Diablo has to weigh heavily on PGE. The very nearby and significant “Shoreline Fault” is only 300 meters from the plant, but only was discovered after Diablo had been designed, built, and certified. IF Diablo was built fully to specifications it ought to survive.

IIRC the timeline correctly, PG&E had applied to extend the operating license but after Fukishima they did a seismic study and concluded there would have to be some upgrades and withdrew the application. On top of that they’d have to do some expensive marine restoration to meet current requirements. And one top of that, in order to meet renewable energy mandates they won’t need as much nuclear power during the day so that means the plant wouldn’t be operating at full capacity.

There was some talk of using the excess power for desalinization, but there’s a whole can of worms associated with that as well. In the end, PG&E just put it in the too hard pile and moved on.

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syke6

Thank you for the deeper scoop. Sounds utterly right to me.

david fb

More on the subject from Canuck Business News.

In truth I’m not expecting a sudden about face but an open mind for a change would be nice? When you are up to your butt in alligators it is sometimes hard to remember that the objective was to provide clean power to turn the wheels of industry and keep the lights on. Hydro is failing miserably due to drought and even solar doesn’t like the smoke from the fires burning. Really hot days aren’t always windy either?

Tim

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/california-long-leery-of-nuclear…

2h ago

California, long leery of nuclear power, joins bid to save it

Mark Chediak and Will Wade, Bloomberg News

The public wants to keep it open and the governor wants to keep it open. The sticky wicket is the owner doesn’t want to keep it open. Similar to the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan we talked about yesterday, political and public support isn’t enough. Without buy-in from the owner there is not much anyone can do.

There are federal grants available to extend the life of existing nuclear facility. Similar to the Palisades plant, the operator has not applied for any of those funds. It seems the owner is pretty serious about shutting it down.

They probably don’t want the liability and the potential bad PR (we all know that PG&E has had plenty of bad PR in recent years). I wonder if they would be willing to sell it to someone willing to accept all the liability of operating it? Maybe only the state could do that.

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There are federal grants available to extend the life of existing nuclear facility. Similar to the Palisades plant, the operator has not applied for any of those funds. It seems the owner is pretty serious about shutting it down.

They probably don’t want the liability and the potential bad PR (we all know that PG&E has had plenty of bad PR in recent years). I wonder if they would be willing to sell it to someone willing to accept all the liability of operating it? Maybe only the state could do that.

I did a little more reading, and I was incorrect above. After Fukishima, PG&E did a bunch of seismic studies and concluded the plant was safe, so I was wrong they don’t need seismic upgrades. And according to Tim’s article, PG&E is “open” to discussing applying for some federal money. That’s not a full throated endorsement, but it sounds like the door hasn’t slammed shut either.

They probably don’t want the liability and the potential bad PR (we all know that PG&E has had plenty of bad PR in recent years). I wonder if they would be willing to sell it to someone willing to accept all the liability of operating it? Maybe only the state could do that.

If I correctly understand the terms of the “deregulation” (a huge increase in regulation) that California did of their power supply industry a couple decades ago, the buyer would have to be either a company already in the electricity-generating business, or a consumer entity - such as a city government or a manufacturer - that needs less power than the reactor would provide and can afford to shut down their whole operation when the reactor is down for maintenance or refueling.

The possibility of a nasty earthquake caused disruption at Diablo has to weigh heavily on PGE. The very nearby and significant “Shoreline Fault” is only 300 meters from the plant, but only was discovered after Diablo had been designed, built, and certified. IF Diablo was built fully to specifications it ought to survive.

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Diablo was never designed for the “Shoreline Fault”. There was lots of arguements inside the NRC about letting Diable continue operations when the “Shoreline Fault” was discovered about 20 years after stating power generation. The NRC demanded new analysis by PG&E and the analysis was done. PG&E used the existing safety margin in the original analysis to show that the reactors were still safe, but with lot less safety margin. The NRC Commisioners were Republican appointees and accepted the new analysis.

I am glad that Diablo is 300 miles south of where I live. But the people of San Luis Obisbo and Santa Barbara will be devasted by the “Shoreline Fault” causing a Fukushiima type Station Blackout and core melt disaster.

Jaak