The Fresno, California, Board of Supervisors has decided not to endorse a proposal by the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group to build a “Clean Energy Park,” outside town. The park would boast two big, 1,600-megawatt, French-made reactors, a solar-thermal plant, and a water desalination facility.
The account in the Fresno Business Journal
doesn’t mention Japan or Fukushima explicitly, but the shadow in the background is unmistakable. And it must send shivers down the backs of people promoting a nuclear renaissance as the cure for global warming—especially as Germany
has recently decided to stop building new reactors and to retire existing plants as replacement power comes on-line. Japan is clearly rethinking its commitment to nuclear power as well.
The challenge now, it seems to me at least, is to make sure that Fresno, Germany, Japan and everyone else don’t build new coal- or natural-gas-fined plants to replace lost nuclear capacity.
Bring on the sun and the wind.
And by the way, what’s up with a desalination plant in Fresno? It’s a long way from the ocean. None of the documents I could find explain that small point.