Jane Swanson’s viewpoint article of July 31 is full of errors and distortions. The proper way to compare carbon dioxide emissions is to compare the entire production cycle of competing types of power, such as nuclear and coal or nuclear and natural gas power plants. PG&E’s nuclear capacity does provide approximately 20 percent of the power it provides its customers. Ms. Swanson tries to confuse the statistics by glossing over the fact that PG&E does not serve the whole state of California. Ms. Swanson also misunderstands the system operator statement.
There is enough reserve power to compensate for the loss of Diablo Canyon’s output; the point is not that Diablo Canyon’s power can be replaced by current system capacity, but that it will be replaced with power from fossil fuelpowered plants. The demand for power will be the same, resulting in an increase of carbon dioxide emissions.
In my opinion, a permanent solution to the fuel storage issue is a concern, but it has to be evaluated with respect to other environmental concerns such as global warming.