California lawmakers, governor at odds over Diablo Canyon funding

June 11, 2024, 3:01PMNuclear News
Gov. Gavin Newsom visits Diablo Canyon in this 2023 photo (Source: Governor’s office)

In budget discussions conducted last week, the California legislature rejected a $400 million budget item to help keep the state’s sole remaining nuclear plant operational.

Diablo Canyon—owned by Pacific Gas & Electric—has been the subject of much debate in California. To meet grid demands during a record hot summer in 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom had cut a deal to give $1.4 billion to support continued operations at the 2,200-MWe nuclear facility.

Federal court finds in favor of Diablo Canyon license review

April 30, 2024, 3:24PMNuclear News
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Photo: PG&E)

A review from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week denied a challenge to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant’s license renewal application extension granted by the federal government.

In late 2023, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to formally docket the California plant’s request to extend plant operations beyond the current license expiration dates of 2024 and 2025 for the two respective units.

PG&E to dredge Diablo Canyon intake system

March 19, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News
A view of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant from the water. (Photo: California Coastal Commission)

The owners of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant plan to dredge a massive buildup of shoaled sediment from its seawater intake cove.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Suzanne Hosn said, “The dredging project in the Diablo Canyon marina will remove approximately 70,000 cubic yards of sediment to prevent circumstances that could impact the power plant’s cooling system. Dredging will take place for the first time since operations began because of a rapid increase in sediment.”

Levin and Carbajal reintroduce 100-year SNF canister bill

February 9, 2024, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions



Reps. Mike Levin (D., Calif.) and Salud Carbajal (D., Calif.) have reintroduced the 100 Year Canister Life Act, which requires nuclear waste canisters to have a design life of at least 100 years. Levin last introduced the bill in 2022, where it died in committee.

Introduced into the House on January 31, the bill (H.R. 7172) would prohibit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from issuing or renewing any certificate of compliance or license for a dry storage cask for spent nuclear fuel without a finding that the cask “can safely operate with spent nuclear fuel for a period of at least 100 years.” Current NRC regulations set the lifespan requirement of dry storage casks at 40 years.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

How can advocates amplify global shifts in the nuclear energy narrative?

March 15, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsParis Ortiz-Wines

Paris Ortiz-Wines

“Nuclear is finding its way into real acceptance and enthusiasm, and that’s really exciting.” So said secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm at the COP27 climate conference last November.

For the past 65 years, humanity has harnessed the power of the atom. Since the grid connection of the world’s first commercial nuclear plant in 1957, nuclear has been an unsung hero in providing reliable, clean energy for generations. Nuclear is the world’s fourth-largest source of energy and the second-largest low-carbon source of energy, per Our World in Data.

And yet, it wasn’t until September of 2021, when it became increasingly clear that the world was entering an energy crisis, that nuclear found its way back into the spotlight. Five months later, with the invasion of Ukraine, countries dependent on Russian gas found themselves in a precarious and costly position.

NRC grants “timely renewal” exemption for Diablo Canyon

March 3, 2023, 10:31AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Pacific Gas & Electric a “timely renewal” exemption so the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant can continue operating while its license renewal application is under review, it was announced yesterday. This new decision clears a major regulatory hurdle to extending the operating license of the Units 1 and 2 beyond their original closure dates of 2024 and 2025, respectively.

American Nuclear Society urges California lawmakers to save Diablo Canyon by passing S.B. 846

August 29, 2022, 6:36PMPress Releases

LA GRANGE PARK, Illinois – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) sent a letter to California state legislators urging quick passage of bipartisan legislation (Senate Bill 846) to extend operations of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Newsom proposes $1.4 billion loan to keep Diablo Canyon running

August 17, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

There is still a chance for California’s last remaining nuclear power plant to stay open.

Last Friday, more than 50 nuclear advocates testified in support of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant at a California Energy Commission workshop. Many spoke of the need for California to shore up its electricity grid in the face of coming heat waves and power outages. Others emphasized that closing the plant, which generates 2.2 GW of electricity and currently provides 8.6 percent of the state’s total supply and about 15 percent of its low-carbon electricity, would be devastating to California’s emission-reduction goals.

Diablo Canyon: What next?

July 8, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear NewsBy George Apostolakis, James Ellis, and Steven Nesbit
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The state of California recently and quite sensibly cracked the door back open for continued operation of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant past the current operating license expiration dates in 2024 (Unit 1) and 2025 (Unit 2). The nonprofit North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s recently released 2022 Summer Reliability Assessment highlights the risk of electricity shortages in California. Given that concern, as well as the benefits of continued Diablo Canyon operation—including much needed clean, reliable energy; good jobs; and potential for large-scale production of fresh water—another look at the shutdown decision made several years ago is clearly warranted. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) reinforced this point when she added her voice to the growing chorus of policymakers advocating extended operation for Diablo Canyon.

The American Nuclear Society supports keeping Diablo Canyon open

November 24, 2021, 11:08AMPress Releases
A whale swims off the coast by Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Image: PG&E)

The American Nuclear Society supports the continued operation of California's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The premature shutdown of Diablo Canyon units 1 and 2, slated respectively in November 2024 and August 2025, will inflict grave harm to California's economy and environment.

DOE demolishes last of ETEC buildings at California’s Santa Susana site

October 5, 2021, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The Sodium Pump Test Facility was the last DOE building to be demolished at the Energy Technology Engineering Center site in California. (Photo: DOE)

The demolition of the final of 18 DOE-owned buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) has been completed, according to the DOE. The ETEC is the former liquid metals research facility located at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), northwest of Los Angeles.

A tale of three states

August 11, 2021, 2:57PMANS NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

Stories are unfolding (or have unfolded) in three of our key states that illustrate the challenges facing the backbone of our country’s clean, reliable electricity generation infrastructure. I write, of course, about existing nuclear power plants. On the East Coast, New York is a done deal. Indian Point-3 shut down on April 30. The state authorities are banking on offshore wind to pick up the slack. They shrug off the cost and intermittency challenges associated with deploying wind power. We’ll see.

Brouillette: Nuclear should be part of California’s energy problem solution

September 30, 2020, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe


In an op-ed published on September 25 in the Orange County Register, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette decryed the state of California’s handling of its energy crisis.

Brouillette criticized state leaders for championing a 100 percent renewable energy plan that ignores nuclear and natural gas. He also found fault with the plan to prematurely close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.