Keeping the last remaining nuclear power plant in California open can help the state achieve its climate goals and save money to boot, according to a 114-page assessmentcompiled by a joint study team from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But Pacific Gas & Electric, the operator of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, says it still plans to close the facility starting in three years, and longtime critics of nuclear power remain firmly opposed to any talk of extending the life of the power plant that overlooks the Pacific in central California.

The study’s eight authors acknowledge the report’s proposals would need to clear plenty of hurdles to become reality but say the assessment should prompt discussion as California continues the delicate balancing act of meeting its climate goals while making sure the electric grid is reliable and affordable.