6/21/16 – SLO County desalination plan dries up with Diablo decision
Publish Date: 6/21/2016
By: KSBY Staff
San Luis Obispo’s mayor says she supports plans to close the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Mayor Jan Marx says she’s confident San Luis Obispo can deal with the economic impact of the closure but hopes the facility’s desalination plant can help provide drought relief.
“I think it was a wise decision on the part of PG&E not to pursue relicensing. The turn toward clean and alternate energy is a good move, given the challenges of climate change. There are a lot of questions to be answered, now that this issue has been settled. It is important that the investment in safety and maintenance not be reduced during the next nine years, despite impending closure,” Mayor Marx says.
“I hope the desal operation will be retained and improved environmentally to provide water to South County, given the drought. I have great faith in the resilience and creativity of our local business community to deal with the initial economic impacts of plant closure and come out better off in the long run.”
PG&E officials say shutting down the reactors means the plant’s desalination facilities can only support its own operations. San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill had supported a plan to boost the desal plant’s capacity, making the excess water available for the county residents. It appears that will not happen.
PG&E Spokesman Blair Jones offered this statement on the desal plant:
“The proposal secures the continued scope of operations of Diablo Canyon until the expiration of our NRC operating licenses in 2024 for Unit 1 and 2025 for Unit 2. This limits our use of desalination facilities to support plant operations. Therefore, it is no longer viable to proceed with sales of desalinated water to the county.”
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