Musk against closure of nuclear power plants

Elon Musk has said that nuclear power plants should be kept open unless they are susceptible to extreme natural disasters. His statement comes as California is planning to shut down its last nuclear plant.

“Unless susceptible to extreme natural disasters, nuclear power plants should not be shut down,” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Musk’s former partner, singer Grimes, expressed a similar opinion in a video, saying that “California is in an energy and climate crisis. And closing Diablo Canyon will make us rely on fossil fuels.” She added: “This will push the state backwards instead of forwards in its goal to be 100% reliant on clean energy. If we push the closure back by a decade, it will help the state decarbonize faster and make the transition to clean energy faster and cheaper.”

California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which generates about 8% of the state’s electricity and 15% of its carbon-free power, is scheduled to be decommissioned and closed in August 2025.

According to a recent report by scientists from MIT and Stanford, keeping it open until 2050 could save up to $21 billion in power grid costs. That could also help preserve 90,000 acres of land that would otherwise need to go to be covered in photovoltaic solar panels to meet the state’s climate goals.

In 2018, California lawmakers passed two regulations requiring the state to shift to 100% carbon-neutral energy sources by 2045.

Last week, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Reuters that California could reconsider closing the Diablo Canyon plant and said she was willing to eventually talk with state officials.

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