Friday, February 12, 2016

Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You

Sunset for Nuclear Power?
Does the dream of nuclear power still ‘look bright’ as one enthusiastic investment advisor gushed less than a year ago, or is it the “the dream that failed,” as the Economist asserted as far back as March of 2012?
Approaching 5 years this March 11 after the still on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster, the debate goes on, enveloped in a miasma of mis-, dis-, and conflicting information generated by industry ‘merchants of doubt,’ but rarely leavened by rational analysis of What’s Really What.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015 by Mycle Schneider, Antony Froggatt et al went a long way toward settling the issue with just that – a data-based rational analysis.
Its conclusion: worldwide, despite a few troubled construction starts over budget and behind schedule, “The nuclear industry remains in decline...”
You’d never know it from the pro-nuclear happytalk and proposed subsidy and bailout bills being floated in Congress, but all around the world the global nuclear power industry is fighting for its life.
Nuclear Showdown in California
Nowhere is that battle closer to being decisively lost by the industry than in California, where the Sunshine State’s ‘last nuke standing’ – PG&E’s Diablo Canyon – faces a very uncertain future. A showdown between those who want to shut it down, and those who want to keep it going.
It is a microcosmic drama with all the elements of a movie thriller:
· A corrupt California Public Utilities Commission racked in scandals.
· A compromised Nuclear Regulatory Commission captured by nuclear interests.
· A resurgent peoples’ movement determined to shut Diablo down and responsibly manage the state’s thousands of tons of lethal radioactive waste.
· The growing vision of a nuclear-energy-free West Coast and a solartopian transition.
· A handful of atomic denialists clamoring to ‘save Diablo.’
· All this in the context of deepening climate change and the battle for decentralized, clean, renewable power.
A Diablo shutdown in California would be a shot heard in nuclear boardrooms around the world, and would continue this bellwether state’s well-earned reputation as being ‘no country for old nukes...’

more: Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You

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