California and Germany could both act to save their remaining nuclear power plants. California could save one nuclear reactor that provides 15% of its clean power and Germany could save reactors that would prevent adding about 60% more natural gas. Germany has been short natural gas that it imports from Russia.
The California Diablo Canyon nuclear plant could be saved buy the utility PGE and the California Governor, Gavin Newsom. Pacific Gas & Electric is exploring the possibility of keeping the 2.2 GW Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open beyond its currently scheduled retirement in 2024 and 2025 to support the reliability of California’s electricity system. PG&E CEO Patti Poppe told analysts during an earnings call at the end of July, 2022.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested delaying the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in May. California could use $6 billion in federal funding that was announced earlier this year for nuclear reactions facing the prospect of retirement.
California could reduce power sector emissions by more than 10% from 2017 levels and save some $2.6 billion by operating the Diablo Canyon plant through 2035, according to a report released last November from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has raised the possibility of lengthening the life of the remaining nuclear reactors.
Germany uses 42% fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) and 6% nuclear energy.
Germany could not just save the three remaining nuclear reactors but turn on three recently mothballed nuclear reactors that were turned off at the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Having all six reactors would enable them to not need almost all of the natural gas imports.
Russia dramatically reduced gas deliveries to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Germany has already said it will temporarily fire up mothballed coal and oil power plants in a bid to solve the looming power crisis.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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