sunny.png
Saturday January 28th, 2023 10:48AM

Feds offer $1B to keep California's last nuclear plant open

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday announced preliminary approval to spend up to $1.1 billion to help keep California's last operating nuclear power plant running, even as officials turned down a request for financial aid to restart a closed nuclear plant in Michigan.

The Energy Department said it was creating a path forward for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant on California's central coast to remain open, with final terms to be negotiated and finalized. The plant, which had been scheduled to close by 2025, was chosen in the first round of funding for the administration's new civil nuclear credit program, intended to bail out financially distressed owners or operators of nuclear power reactors.

The program is part of Biden's effort to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

“This is a critical step toward ensuring that our domestic nuclear fleet will continue providing reliable and affordable power to Americans as the nation’s largest source of clean electricity,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Approval of the funding came as the Energy Department turned down a request by the Palisades nuclear plant for funding to restart operations. The plant along Lake Michigan was shut down last spring after generating electricity for more than 50 years.

Granholm served two terms as Michigan governor before becoming Energy secretary. A spokeswoman said Monday that Granholm's tenure as governor played no role in the decision on the Palisades plant.

Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had brought together a coalition to develop a plan that would have reopened a non-operational nuclear plant for the first time in U.S. history. Despite the temporary setback, Whitmer “will continue competing to bring home transformational projects creating thousands of good-paying jobs to our state in autos, chips, batteries, and clean energy,'' said spokesman Bobby Leddy.

Palisades owner Holtec International said they fully understood that attempting to restart a shuttered nuclear plant would be both a challenge and a first for the nuclear industry.

The Biden administration launched the $6 billion effort in April to rescue nuclear power plants at risk of closing, citing the need to continue nuclear energy as a carbon-free source of power that helps to combat climate change. Nuclear power provides about 20% of electricity in the U.S., or about half the nation’s carbon-free energy. The bailout program is the largest federal investment in saving financially distressed nuclear reactors.

Most U.S. nuclear plants were built between 1970 and 1990, and costs to operate the aging fleet are increasing.

PG&E, which operates Diablo Canyon, said the federal funds would be used to pay back a loan from the state of California to support extending operations at the plant and lower costs for customers. PG&E spokesperson Suzanne Hosn said there are still additional federal and state approvals required to renew the plant's license and to operate past 2025.

PG&E is taking actions to seek re-licensing while also continuing to plan for the eventual decommissioning of the plant, Hosn said. The seaside plant located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco produces 9% of the state’s electricity. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said continued operation of Diablo Canyon beyond 2025 is “critical to ensure statewide energy system reliability” as climate change stresses the energy system.

Newsom signed legislation in September to open the way for the plant to operate for an additional five years, a move he said was needed to ward off possible blackouts as the state transitions to solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

Newsom said Monday he appreciates the “critical support” from the federal government and looks forward to working together to “build a clean, affordable and reliable energy future.”

“This investment creates a path forward for a limited-term extension of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to support reliability statewide and provide an onramp for more clean energy projects to come online," Newsom said in a statement.

The Energy Department intends to accept annual applications for the civil nuclear credit program through fiscal 2031, or until the $6 billion runs out. Nuclear plant owners or operators can bid on credits for financial assistance to keep operating. To qualify, plant owners or operators have to show the reactors are projected to retire for economic reasons and emissions would increase.

The first round prioritized reactors that have already announced plans to close. The second round will be opened up to more economically at-risk facilities, the Energy Department said. The program was funded through President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure law.

___

McDermott reported from Providence, Rhode Island. Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California, and Ed White in Detroit contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Malta proposes bill to ease EU's strictest anti-abortion law
Malta’s government has introduced legislation to ease the European Union’s strictest anti-abortion law and allow the procedure in cases where the mother’s life or health is at risk
2:19PM ( 12 minutes ago )
FIFA threat makes World Cup teams nix 'One Love' armbands
FIFA’s threat of on-field punishment for players has pushed World Cup teams to back down
2:08PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Feds offer $1B to keep California's last nuclear plant open
The Biden administration has announced preliminary approval to spend up to $1.1 billion to help keep California’s last operating nuclear power plant running
2:07PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
100M euros pledged to Moldova, hit hard by war in Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron said more than 100 million euros was raised at a donors conference on Monday to help assist Europe’s poorest country, Moldova, which is suffering massive blackouts, an acute energy crisis, heavy refugee flows and potential security threats from the war in neighboring Ukraine
1:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
US supply chain under threat as unions, railroads, clash
Railroad engineers accepted their deal with the railroads that will deliver 24% raises but conductors rejected the contract
11:08AM ( 3 hours ago )
Aid sought for Moldova, hit hard by war in next-door Ukraine
Diplomats are drumming up money and other support Monday for Europe’s poorest country, Moldova
9:30AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Prosecution rests in Trump Organization’s tax fraud case
Prosecutors in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial have rested their case
1:35PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Ukraine to civilians: Leave liberated areas before winter
Ukrainian authorities have begun evacuating civilians from liberated areas in the southern Kherson and Mykolaiv regions
1:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
$3B canals, housing proposed for ex-airport in Atlantic City
Two Philadelphia developers want to build a $3 billion housing, office and retail project on the site of a historic former airport in Atlantic City
1:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Iger returns to lead Disney after rocky 2 years under Chapek
Bob Iger, the enterprising entertainment executive who brought Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel under the Disney marquee and challenged the streaming dominance of Netflix, will replace his handpicked successor, CEO Bob Chapek, whose two-year tenure has been marked by clashes, missteps and a weakening financial performance
8:45AM ( 5 hours ago )
Interest rate anxiety hangs over Wall Street as week begins
Wall Street is following global stock markets lower to open a holiday-shortened week as anxiety over Federal Reserve plans for more interest rate hikes continues to weigh on investors
8:26AM ( 6 hours ago )
Disney taps ex-CEO Bob Iger to return, set strategy
The Walt Disney Company has tapped its former CEO Bob Iger to return to head the company for two years, firing his successor Bob Chapek, who took the post in 2020
4:55AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Stocks open lower; Disney lifts Dow after reinstating Iger
Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street at the beginning of a holiday-shortened week
9:47AM ( 4 hours ago )
Global stocks down after Wall St weekly loss on rate fears
Global stock markets are lower after Wall Street ended with a loss for the week amid anxiety about Federal Reserve plans for more interest rate hikes to cool inflation
4:48AM ( 9 hours ago )
Red Cross: Afghans will struggle for their lives this winter
A senior official with the International Committee of the Red Cross says that Afghans will struggle for their lives as the country braces for its second winter under Taliban rule and faces plummeting humanitarian conditions
2:14AM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Ukraine: Civilians should leave liberated areas this winter
Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from recently-liberated areas in the southern Kherson and Mykolaiv regions
9:52AM ( 4 hours ago )
Cold and dark: Kyiv readies for 'worst winter of our lives'
The lack of electricity turned Anastasia Pyrozhenko’s apartment into a deathtrap
8:36AM ( 5 hours ago )
Ukraine urges civilians to leave liberated areas for winter
Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from the recently-liberated areas of the Kherson and the Mykolaiv regions
8:17AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
South Africa faces challenges in transition away from coal
Living in the shadow of one of South Africa’s largest coal-fired power stations, residents of Masakhane fear job losses if the facility is closed as the country moves to cleaner energy
2:13AM ( 1 day ago )
Historic compensation fund approved at UN climate talks
Negotiators have approved an historic deal that would create a fund for compensating poor nations that are victims of extreme weather worsened by rich countries’ carbon pollution, However, there was little progress in addressing the root cause of climate change, the burning of fossil fuels
1:07AM ( 1 day ago )
Climate compensation fund approved, other issues up in air
Negotiators have approved an historic deal that would create a fund for compensating poor nations that are victims of extreme weather worsened by rich countries’ carbon pollution, but an overall larger agreement still was up in the air because of a fight over emission reduction efforts
9:51PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Malta proposes bill to ease EU's strictest anti-abortion law
Malta’s government has introduced legislation to ease the European Union’s strictest anti-abortion law and allow the procedure in cases where the mother’s life or health is at risk
2:19PM ( 13 minutes ago )
FIFA threat makes World Cup teams nix 'One Love' armbands
FIFA’s threat of on-field punishment for players has pushed World Cup teams to back down
2:08PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Biden opens holidays, pardons turkeys Chocolate and Chip
It's holiday time at the White House
2:01PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Gay bar shooting suspect faces murder, hate crime charges
The man suspected of opening fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs is being held on murder and hate crimes charges
1:58PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Dominican Republic rejects criticism of Haitian deportations
The Dominican Republic said it “profusely rejects” the denunciation of its crackdowns on Haitian migrants by a growing number of countries and human rights agencies
1:57PM ( 35 minutes ago )