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.”

The arrow is pointing up

March 13, 2024, 7:10AMNuclear NewsKen Petersen

Ken Petersen

There have been significant changes in the outlook for the existing U.S. nuclear fleet in the last few years. In 2021, we were looking at the early closure of units and could not even think of license extension. Since then, the combination of the U.S. government recognizing the clean-air benefits of nuclear and the impact of the war in Ukraine has resulted in a lot of positive activity on Capitol Hill for nuclear.

Several pieces of legislation have been passed in support of nuclear as law- and policymakers have recognized the important role nuclear power can play in achieving the nation’s clean-air goals. New legislation also is supporting reducing reliance on Russia for uranium enrichment by supporting the domestic production of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU).

The Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, which was part of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, included $6 billion to prevent premature retirement of existing zero-carbon nuclear plants. On January 17, the Department of Energy awarded Diablo Canyon $1.1 billion from the CNC Program to support continued operations of the plant.

Climate groups file suit against Diablo Canyon

March 11, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News
In this 2013 photo, workers test switches and gauges in Diablo Canyon’s Unit 2 control room and review the results while the reactor is shut down for refueling and routine maintenance. (Photo: PG&E)

Three climate groups filed a motion for the immediate closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California, saying the nuclear plant poses an “unacceptable safety risk.”

NRC seeks public comment on Diablo Canyon license renewal application

January 25, 2024, 12:01PMNuclear News
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Photo: Doc Searls)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled two meetings in February to discuss the environmental evaluation and review process for the license renewal application of the two-unit Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Avila Beach, Calif.

2023 in Review: January–March

January 10, 2024, 9:32AMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2024, let’s look back at what happened in 2023 in the nuclear community. In today's post, compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire are what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from January through March 2023.

Stay tuned for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

CPUC votes in favor of 5-year extension for Diablo Canyon

December 18, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Photo: Doc Searls)

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted last Thursday to extend the life of Diablo Canyon an additional five years. The decision was the final step in the extension of the state's last remaining nuclear power plant, whose two reactors will now operate until at least 2029 and 2030, respectively, instead of closing in 2024 and 2025.

American Nuclear Society applauds California PUC decision to extend life of Diablo Canyon

December 15, 2023, 12:46PMPress Releases

DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS — Statement from 2023-24 American Nuclear Society (ANS) President Kenneth Petersen on the California Public Utilities Commission's December 14 decision to extend operations of Diablo Canyon Power Plant for an additional five years:

“The American Nuclear Society applauds the decision by the California Public Utilities Commission to extend the operations of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant through 2030.


Court shuts down Diablo Canyon shutdown effort

August 29, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Photo: PG&E)

A California court has dismissed a lawsuit brought in April by Friends of the Earth (FOE), an inveterate enemy of nuclear power, to derail last year’s state-supported plan to keep the two-unit Diablo Canyon plant running past 2025.

Invested in nuclear

June 8, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear NewsSteven Arndt

Steven Arndt

This will be my last column in Nuclear News as president of the American Nuclear Society. Where has the year gone? For me and for all of us in the nuclear community it has been an exciting and productive 12 months. We have cheered the decision to extend Diablo Canyon operations, witnessed fuel loading and—hopefully by the time the June issue of NN is out—the start of commercial operations of Unit 3 at Vogtle, and seen significant strides forward in the licensing and deployment of small modular reactors. Internationally, we have watched the progress in the deployment of new units in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, as well as renewed commitment to nuclear in countries including Japan, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom. All of this has been a result of both public and private investment in and commitment to nuclear.

Recently, the Inflation Reduction Act and other government actions in the United States have provided opportunities for increased investment in nuclear energy, including production tax credits and investment tax credits.

The Civil Nuclear Credit Program: An overview

June 2, 2023, 3:07PMNuclear NewsMichael McQueen

Officially established on November 15, 2021, with the signing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—aka the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL—the Department of Energy’s Civil Nuclear Credit Program was designed to give owners/operators of commercial U.S. reactors the opportunity to apply for certification and competitively bid on credits to help support the continued operation of economically troubled units. Finally, the federal government, and not just certain farsighted state governments, would recognize nuclear energy for its important grid reliability and decarbonization attributes.

U.S. nuclear capacity factors: Credits where due

April 28, 2023, 3:03PMNuclear NewsSusan Gallier

Forty years ago, Nuclear News published an analysis of U.S. nuclear plant operations over the three years that followed the Three Mile Island-2 accident in 1979, scrutinizing capacity factors as a measure of how well a reactor was performing compared to its potential. The purpose: “To call attention to the units that have had the best results, and to explore the question: What have the personnel at these top units been doing right?”

NRC to hear arguments against Diablo Canyon ISFSI license renewal

April 25, 2023, 9:36AMRadwaste Solutions
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that an agency licensing board will hold oral arguments in a challenge to Pacific Gas and Electric’s application to renew its license for the Diablo Canyon independent spent fuel storage installation in California.

The arguments, which will be open to the public, will be heard by an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on May 24 beginning at 1 p.m. eastern time.

PG&E response to Diablo Canyon opponents demonstrates strong legal precedent

March 13, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News

Proponents of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant received the heartening news on March 2 that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had granted a “timely renewal” exemption to allow the plant to continue operating while its new license renewal application was under review. The exemption came after the NRC denied in January plant owner Pacific Gas & Electric’s request for the agency to resume review of its original license renewal application.

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.

NRC announces setback to Diablo Canyon license renewal

January 26, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced January 24 that it will not resume its review of Pacific Gas & Electric’s withdrawn Diablo Canyon license renewal application. This decision is a new setback in the long-running effort to extend the life of the plant.

California PUC opens vote on Diablo Canyon extension

January 20, 2023, 7:14AMNuclear News
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has voted to open a rulemaking to consider extending the lifetime of the 2,289-MW two-unit Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The plant, which turns 50 this year, is the only remaining operational nuclear power facility in California. It generates nearly 10 percent of the state’s electricity needs.

Looking back at 2022—July through September

January 5, 2023, 12:12PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2023, let’s look back at what happened in 2022 for the American Nuclear Society and the nuclear community. In today's post that follows, we have compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from July through September 2022.

Stay tuned this week for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

But first:

Holtec to reapply for federal funding to revive Palisades

December 21, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

Holtec International is apparently not ready to give up on the Palisades nuclear power plant just yet. Despite having been denied federal funds last month for a possible reopening of the Covert, Mich., facility, the company this week announced its intention to reapply.