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California will close its last nuclear plant to invest in renewables

La centrale nucleare di Diablo Canyon chiuderà nel giro di dieci anni. Decisione presa grazie alla crescita delle rinnovabili e dell’efficienza energetica.

Diablo Canyon, California’s last remaining nuclear plant and one of the first to have been established, is going to be shut down by 2025.

centrale nucleare
Diablo Canyon  nuclear plant, California. Photo via Mimi Ditchie Photography

The electric utility that owns the plant, the Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E), officially announced the plan. Along with local labour environmental groups, it decided to invest in renewables and energy efficiency, to the detriment of the power plant located on the cliff north of Los Angeles.

Renewables are taking over nuclear power

The nuclear plant, which produces about 9 per cent of the domestic energy, will be closed within a decade. The decision comes after the US country started to change its energy policies, setting the objectives of achieving 50% renewable energy by 2030, doubling energy efficiency goals, and developing energy storage.

California’s energy landscape is changing dramatically with energy efficiency, renewables and storage being central to the state’s energy policy. As we make this transition, Diablo Canyon’s full output will no longer be required,” said Tony Earley, President and CEO of PG&E.

The next few years will be crucial for substituting the energy produced by the plant with zero-emission sources. The first reactor will be shut down by 2 November 2024, while the second one will be closed by 26 August 2025.

centrale nucleare
Una centrale nucleare americana. Ancora oggi sono 61 le centrali operative negli Usa. Foto via mage Source / Getty

Employees will be supported and protected

The company said in a press release that it will support employees throughout the process and will provide them with retraining sessions. Some of the employees will be retained, while others will be offered benefits. “We are incredibly proud of the men and women who have made Diablo Canyon one of the finest nuclear stations in the country,” added Earley.

At the moment, there are 61 nuclear power plants, with 99 reactors, across 30 countries. Chronologically, the Diablo Canyon plant will be the last to be closed, after the latest shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant.

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