Nuclear power a focus in California Senate debate

By Timothy Cama | 02/21/2024 01:32 PM EST

The fate of the state’s last nuclear plant prompted a wider discussion of the power source’s future in the U.S.

California Senate debate.

(From left) Republican Steve Garvey and Democratic California Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee during Tuesday's California Senate debate. NBC Los Angeles/YouTube

California’s candidates for Senate clashed in a debate Tuesday over the fate of the state’s last nuclear power plant and the future of nuclear power more broadly.

The disagreement on Diablo Canyon Power Plant near San Luis Obispo, which was slated to be shut down by next year but is now likely to stay open until 2030, came just two weeks before a March 5 primary. Four hopefuls are competing for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D) seat.

The debate, the final one in the race, also comes after two of the top Democratic candidates in the race — Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff — released their own plans for battling climate change. Neither of those plans mention nuclear power.
Democratic Reps. Katie Porter
Adam Schiff


While it is a carbon-free electricity source that provides about 10 percent of the state’s power, not all the candidates at Tuesday’s event were sold.