每日英語跟讀 Ep.K433: The Future of California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant
At a gathering of nuclear professionals and enthusiasts in Anaheim, California, a couple of months ago, the tenor of the conversations about the Diablo Canyon Power Plant — California’s last operating nuclear reactor — turned inconceivably hopeful.
The American Nuclear Society’s convention, held for four days in the shadow of Mickey Mouse, could not have picked a better venue to uplift spirits. And no one flashed a bigger grin than Gene Nelson, a standout not just for his towering height but also for his signature headbands and his yearslong campaign to keep Diablo Canyon running beyond a planned shutdown by the end of 2025.
“I thought our chances were zero,” Nelson, a government liaison for Californians for Green Nuclear Power, told the conference attendees about the effort to maintain nuclear power in the state. “What has happened since then, it’s been like a snowball.”
Pushing that snowball is Gov. Gavin Newsom. Although it seemed improbable that Diablo Canyon’s supporters could overcome the numerous challenges to maintain the plant’s operations, a lot has changed and those hurdles appear to be getting swallowed up in the growing clean energy movement.
Last month, Newsom proposed a measure that would provide a forgivable loan of $1.4 billion to the plant’s owner to help resolve permitting, licensing and cost issues. The California Assembly would need to pass the legislation and have it signed in September to make the whole idea possible.
In addition, the U.S. Energy Department made $6 billion available to nuclear plant owners to help keep existing facilities operating.
Gunda presented during a public conversation last month about the prospect of continuing the operations at Diablo, which produces about 9% of the state’s electricity.
Even authors of a Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology report supporting the extension of Diablo Canyon noted that one of the two units had to be taken offline in 2020, the last time California experienced rolling blackouts. That has prompted some to urge caution.
“I was a little bit heartbroken by the governor’s proposal,” said Najmedin Meshkati, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California who has inspected many nuclear plants throughout the world. “The word safety is only mentioned once in passing. They really need to bend over backward and go the extra mile to ensure the safety and reliability issues.”
曾赴世界許多核電廠視察的南加大工程學教授納吉米丁．梅許卡蒂說：「州長的提議讓我有點心碎。安全這個字只順便提到一次。他們真的必須盡力且付出更多努力，來確保安全性和可靠性的問題。」Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6584967