California legislators approved an operational extension for Diablo Canyon, the nuclear facility owned by GSE Systems (NASDAQ:GVP) today.
The new law will keep the facility open for an extra five years beyond its present close-by date, or 2030. It includes a $1.4 billion loan from the state to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which operates the reactor, and covers necessary capital expenditures needed to keep the facility open.
“This news comes on the heels of high-level government officials from both Japan and South Korea announcing their intentions to increase their respective energy production from nuclear power. The legislative action in California is further validation that the continued operations of nuclear power is essential to energy reliability and achieving decarbonization goals. We expect to see more extensions granted to nuclear facilities across the globe as governments acknowledge the value of nuclear power in achieving energy security, reliability, and environmental goals,” said Kyle J. Loudermilk, GSE’s president and CEO.
GSE provides advanced engineering and flexible workforce solutions in support of the future of clean energy. It employs specialized solution teams, including design and analysis, systems and simulation, programs and performance, as well as technical staff and training to help the power industry mitigate risk, and extend plant performance lifetime while optimizing performance. The company has over 50 years in the business, and includes over 1,100 installations with customers in 50 countries.
The Diablo Canyon power plant is near Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California, and has been since its first reactor was commissioned in May 1985. The Diablo Canyon has actually been the only operational nuclear power plant, and the single largest station in California since 2013. It has two 4-loop pressurized water nuclear reactors operated by PG&E and designed by Westinghouse, and provides roughly 9 per cent of California’s total electricity and 17 per cent of its zero-carbon electricity.
“This news is very important to the industry, as it shows that in the near-term, given the current infrastructure in place and the consistent and clean energy production they offer, existing nuclear facilities are extremely valuable in maintaining operation, especially until newer technologies, like small modular reactors (SMRs) are available,” said Loudermilk.
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