Thu, 29 Sep 2022

SACRAMENTO, California: California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing to give a $1.4 billion government loan to extend the life of a nuclear power plant it operates by as much as a decade.

The proposal aims to maintain electric supplies while moving away from fossil fuels, his office added.

This is the latest in a series of measures adopted by California this year to reconsider its 2016 decision to retire the Diablo Canyon Power Plant by 2025.

By 2045, the state aims to produce all of its electricity from clean sources, but it has faced challenges during that transition, such as blackouts during a heatwave in 2020.

A spokesperson in his office said, "The Governor supports keeping all options on the table as we build out our plan to ensure reliable energy this summer and beyond."

The state's utility regulator would delay Diablo Canyon's retirement to between 2030 and 2035 under Newsom's proposed bill, which would also authorize a loan of up to $1.4 billion to Diablo Canyon owner PG&E.

Under a U.S. Department of Energy program worth $6 billion aimed at saving nuclear power plants scheduled to retire, PG&E is also applying for separate federal funds.

In an emailed statement, PG&E spokesperson Lynsey Paulo said, "We are proud of the role that DCPP plays in our state, and we stand ready to support should there be a change in state policy, to help ensure grid reliability for our customers and all Californians at the lowest possible cost."

As part of a plan to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Biden administration has made efforts to restore the nuclear industry.

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