“Possibilities, Problems And Potential Envisioned For Nuclear-Powered California in 2050”


The California Council on Science and Technology recently studied the capacity of nuclear energy as a solution for California’s needs for electricity by the year 2050.

Here is the full report, but we wanted to highlight some snippets. It highlights the challenge faced by California for it’s 2050 energy needs:

The main focus of the organization’s analysis is on the CCST Realistic Model, which assumes that total electricity demand in California in the year 2050 amounts to 510 terawatt-hours per year…

We specifically like that they see — as we deeply believe — that nuclear power is the ideal compliment to (rather than competitor) to renewable energy solutions.

“Nuclear power is a strong contender for zero-emissions energy because it can provide constant, or ‘baseload,’ power that can complement renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. While clean, many renewable energy sources produce power intermittently: if there’s no sunlight and no wind, there’s no power. However, a constant base output of nuclear power could make it much easier to deal with the highly variable power levels from renewables,” points out chairman Burton Richter. California’s law requires at least 33% of electricity generation be provided with renewable energy.

It’s a detailed and serious paper. It points out many of the challenges (many of them political) as well as the opportunities.

The paper points out that “expansion of nuclear power in California requires growth in public acceptance, which has been eroded by the Fukushima incidents. The question is will relatively low energy costs, nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions, and the need for energy reliability change this position over time?”

Read the entire paper here, and would love to hear in the comments any thoughts you have….

Tags: California, California Council on Science and Technology, CCST

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