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.”

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.

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.

PG&E files 20-year license renewal application for Diablo Canyon

November 10, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Pacific Gas and Electric earlier this week filed a license renewal application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the lifetime of California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by up to 20 years. Diablo Canyon generates 8 percent of the state’s clean electricity, providing carbon-free electricity to 3 million people.

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.

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.

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.

Diablo Canyon approved for federal funding; Palisades denied

November 22, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant, in Michigan, before it was permanently closed. (Photo: Holtec)

Pacific Gas & Electric’s two-unit Diablo Canyon plant—California’s lone operating nuclear power facility—has been deemed eligible for the initial round of funding from the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, the Department of Energy announced yesterday.

The decision was welcomed by a nuclear community disappointed by last Friday’s news that the DOE had rejected Holtec International’s CNC application for the recently closed Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan, despite support for the effort from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Future of Diablo Canyon

September 2, 2022, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, Calif. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The reports of the death of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant may be greatly exaggerated. While Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced as early as 2016 that it would be closing California’s last operating nuclear power plant at the end of its current operating license, there has been growing political pressure to keep the plant, and its 2,200 MWe of carbon-free energy, running.

California lawmakers see the light, vote to extend Diablo Canyon operation

September 1, 2022, 12:16PMNuclear News
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Bowing at last to the unflagging efforts of nuclear advocates over the past few years—as well as to more recent pressure from a former nuclear opponent, Gov. Gavin Newsom—the California legislature late last night approved S.B. 846, a measure that provides the option of extending operations at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant for five years beyond its scheduled 2025 closure date.

Pacific Gas and Electric, Diablo Canyon’s owner and operator, had agreed in June 2016 to an early shuttering of the facility, following discussions with organized labor and environmental organizations. PG&E’s application to close the plant was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in January 2018.

The bill passed easily through both legislative chambers: 67–3 in the General Assembly and 31–1 in the Senate.

California lawmakers to vote on Diablo Canyon life extension

August 29, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
California's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

A bill to extend operations at California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant beyond 2025 debuted last evening in the California legislature. Lawmakers have until Wednesday—the end of the current legislative session—to vote on the measure.

Coauthored by State Sen. Bill Dodd (D., Napa) and Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R., San Luis Obispo), Senate Bill 846 includes a $1.4 billion forgivable loan to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the plant’s owner and operator, matching the amount in the August 12 proposal from Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Instead of Newsom’s proposed option for a 10-year life extension for the facility, however, SB 846 would keep the plant running for an additional five years only.

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.