California's Last Nuclear Plant Is Shutting Down

The Diablo Canyon plant will stop producing nuclear power in 2025
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2016 3:00 PM CDT
California's Last Nuclear Plant Is Shutting Down
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, seen here in 2008, will be shut down in 2025. It's California's last remaining nuclear plant.   (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)

The age of nuclear power will come to an end in California in 2025 when Pacific Gas and Electric closes the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. Diablo Canyon is California's last remaining nuclear plant after the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2012. The Diablo Canyon closure is part of a deal with labor and environmental organizations. The plant produces 9% of California's in-state power, or enough to power more than 1.7 million homes, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plan is to replace that lost electricity output through renewable power, increased efficiency, and electricity storage. The decision to close Diablo Canyon was made in part because of new renewable energy requirements, the increasing output of solar and wind power, and a loss of customers.

But there had also been increasing debate about the future of Diablo Canyon, which sits near several fault lines, in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. Environmental groups worried about what would happen in the case of a quake along one of those faults. But the closure isn't all good news. The Washington Post reports some climate scientists actually wanted the power plant to stay open as it doesn't create greenhouse gasses. Diablo Canyon employs nearly 1,500 people and has a $920 million impact on the local economy every year. It's the largest private employer in the county. (More Diablo Canyon stories.)

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