Episode Transcript

Robert Bryce  0:04  

Hi, everyone, welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert Bryce. On this podcast we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. You’ve heard that before I’m doing a quick power brief. Today is April 30 2022. And it’s a significant date because it was one year ago today that the last reactor at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York was shuttered, was was finally turned off, and it’s one day after today is one day after. The Los Angeles Times reports that Gavin Newsom wants to save Diablo The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in in California. That’s great news. So I’m doing a quick power brief because I wrote a piece about this that’s just published in Forbes today. It’s headlined nuisance about face on Diablo Canyon underscores foolishness of Indian Point closure and need to save Palisades. I wanted to do a quick power brief because I care about Indian Point and I still I’m still mad a year later that that plant was closed. That plant I write about it in my new book a question of power. My colleague, Tyson Culver, and our and our other colleagues went to Indian Point and film there in 2018. And the film is in or rather the reactor is in our movie juice, how electricity explains the world. So the one year anniversary of its closure is bittersweet. I mean, there’s bittersweet that we’re listening to the you know, the possibility of saving Diablo Canyon in California, which is excellent news. I mean, just truly, really good. But a disappointment at the closure of Indian Point. But about Diablo Canyon, perhaps rationality wins, perhaps finally, finally, the Democrats in California and apparently at the federal level have realized, if we’re serious about climate change, we need to preserve our existing nuclear plants and build more of them. But first things first, save the ones that we have now. So the savior of Diablo is saving Diablo Canyon, when apparently for rationality and for reals, climate change action. So that’s great. But it’s disappointment as well that we’re seeing that, you know, now a year later, what the closure of Indian Point has done and what has it done despite the claims by Riverkeeper and Natural Resources Defense Council and all the other people who pushed for the closure of the closure for the closure of Indian Point. We’ve seen massive increases in prices for consumers electric rates in New York up 20% In year over year in January of this year, compared to January of last year. This was easily foreseeable and those rates are going higher Con Ed is asking for big rate increases and emissions are up of course because they close the nuclear plant and it’s been replaced by gas fired generation. So a year later it is bitter that the closure that marks the one year anniversary of the closure of Indian Point. Great that we’re likely to save Diablo Canyon and and but let’s also be clear a couple of other quick points. This isn’t a done deal. The congratulations to the people who are pushing for this who made this happen brought it to this point Michael Shellenberger all the other activists, the activists in New York that Californians for green nuclear power, Jean Nelson and Carl Wirtz from there, Kristin Zetas and Heather Hoffer mothers for nuclear energy or for nuclear. I think I mentioned Michael Shellenberger you know, all these people deserve credit for changing the conversation, the letter that the scientists that Steve Chu and a whole bunch 75 Other people sent to Newsom in February, that looks like that had a good effect. And Newsom said one of the great lines in the LA LA Times report by Sammy Roth, was that Biden? I’m sorry that Newsom said that electricity is profoundly important. Amen, Governor, amen. And your grid is a mess. And you too, if you’re going to make it if you’re going to save the California grid, kudos to you and your all your people around you who said we need to change our position on this and you did it. But maybe they did it because the poll numbers are clearly in favor of nuclear and that’s one of the things that was reported by the LA Times as well that I thought was really interesting. So just two other quick points. One is well, I said before Entergy and PG and E Entergy owned Indian Point in the Entergy owns Palisades and Michigan so if Michigan and that that plant is going to be saved, Entergy is going to have to work with the feds or with state government or with whoever to figure out how the plant is going to be preserved. And pg&e has to do the same with Diablo Canyon. Those aren’t done deals and it could go to the 11th hour before those plants are shuttered. And then final point was the $6 billion. It’s great that they’re giving $6 billion. And this was part of the infrastructure bill, the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed last November. Awesome that a good use for $6 billion, but it’s a nothing it’s a farthing compared to the lavish amounts of money that have been diverted to these asynchronous weather dependent renewables wind and solar $140 billion is the total for all of the wind and solar subsidies of between 2010 and 2029. And a lot of that subsidy is going to the wind industry which by the way is killing Eagles which still I’m you know, I’m


not gonna give up on that one but Because yeah, I care about birds and that chaps my hide. So $6 billion for nuclear is money well spent. It’s, I’m pleased that this is going to happen. Apparently that Diablo Canyon will be saved. And I wanted to get this quick power brief out before before April 30 expires. So thanks for listening to this special short episode of the power hungry podcast. Come back for another one. We’ll have more of these. Thanks bye

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