On June 27, IBEW 1245 Business Manager Bob Dean submitted formal comments to the U.S., Department of Energy, in strong support of the continued operation of U.S. nuclear reactors through the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program.
“Diablo Canyon operates in the public interest, and Local 1245 supports continued operation of DCPP into the future as the right thing to do for California residents and its economy,” Dean wrote in his formal comment to the DOE. The California Independent System Operator has forecast electricity shortfalls for this summer. Diablo Canyon is a vital part of California’s clean energy future. As the largest generator of local, greenhouse gas-free power in the state, Diablo Canyon provides much of the critical, local baseload power that California needs to meet its climate goals. If Diablo Canyon were to close, the loss of the 2.2 GW of clean power produced there would inevitably cause a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions and destabilize an already stressed grid. This occurred when the San Onofre Nuclear Operating Station in Southern California shut down suddenly several years ago.”
Local 1245’s perspective was clearly taken into account, and just three days later, the Department of Energy announced an amendment to the Guidance for applying to the CNC Program, which affects the eligibility of reactors who may apply in the first round of awards.
“The change allows PG&E to apply for significant funding to subsidize costs associated with changing direction and extending operations at Diablo Canyon,” said Dean, noting that this is a big assist for one of the many hurdles that lie ahead in the effort to keep Diablo Canyon open.
“The CNC program has over $6 Billion in funding; to date, no nuclear plants have applied for this funding,” added Assistant Business Manager Hunter Stern. “Additionally, two of the plants that could have used these funds have closed instead, so the pool of applicants will be small, allowing PG&E to potentially receive a larger amount of funding.”