Lawmakers in California voted to keep open the state’s last remaining nuclear plant, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, which lawmakers — including the governor — had previously wanted to see on the chopping block. The vote came alongside a package of new climate bills that included $54 billion in climate spending.
Mark Lynas is a visiting fellow at the Cornell Alliance for Science and author of “Nuclear 2.0: Why a Green Future Needs Nuclear Power.” Lynas says the decision to keep Diablo Canyon open will help keep down carbon emissions and is part of a “worldwide nuclear renaissance.”
“The saving of Diablo Canyon is unambiguously good news for the climate. Everywhere that nuclear plants have been closed down early - from Germany to New York state - they have led to higher carbon emissions than would otherwise have been the case.
“We are now well into a worldwide nuclear renaissance, with newer Small Modular Reactor (SMR) designs that cannot melt down and can even burn up legacy waste now moving rapidly ahead in many countries, including the U.S. and Canada.
“New nuclear can work together with wind and solar to achieve an optimized and ultimately fully zero carbon power grid.”