Skip to main content

Diablo Canyon is Helping Fight California's Drought

Last month NEI's Nuclear Energy Overview team covered news that the Diablo Canyon Power Plant has on site a desalination facility that it uses to generate fresh water from seawater. And lots of it  -- the Diablo desal facility is capable of producing 1.5 million gallons of treated water a day. So in addition to producing 2,300 megawatts of carbon-free power, nearly 10 percent of all electricity generated in California, and enough energy to meet the needs of more than three million Northern and Central Californians, Diablo Canyon is poised to be a source to aid California with its historic drought. From the coverage:
Plant operator Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has entered into a five-year agreement to use the facility’s excess capacity to provide the county’s Office of Emergency Services with fresh water to help tackle the ever-present risk of wildfires.   
This news merits broader coverage, and credit the San Luis Obispo Tribune for following through. Its coverage notes that the facility "is the largest facility of its kind on the West Coast." The state, and San Luis Obispo County especially, is enduring a fourth consecutive year of brutal drought. The Tribune continues:
For the first time in Diablo Canyon’s 30-year history of operation, its desalination plant has become the object of intense public interest because of its potential to serve neighboring communities.

Water from Diablo Canyon’s desalination facility is helping fight wildfires.
And read more here.

Comments

jim said…
It's not going to get greater coverage, which it would in national spades were it wind or solar involved, simply because any postive news above nuclear energy is media persona non-grata.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…