Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves continued operations at Diablo Canyon Power Plant

Published on December 21, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Following a request from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to renew the license of its Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined the application could be reviewed and, in the meantime, operating units there could continue beyond existing licenses.

The latter is owed to the fact that NRC’s review processes take multiple years. The original application for review was filed on Nov. 7, 2023 at the state of California’s direction. It was a move meant to guarantee electric reliability in the region, given that Diablo Canyon is California’s largest power plant and producer of clean energy. It currently provides enough electricity to support 3 million people.

Those people will also be able to participate in a public process surrounding the review process.

“PG&E remains committed to complying with energy policies to ensure the state has the option to keep DCPP online past 2025 to ensure electricity reliability as California continues toward its clean energy future,” DCPP Vice President Maureen Zawalick said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue providing homes and businesses across California with safe, clean, and affordable power.”

Without leave to continue operations, Units 1 and 2 at Diablo Canyon would have been restricted by their current licenses, which run out in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Last week, the California Public Utility Commission also voted to approve the ratemaking design and new retirement dates for Diablo Canyon’s Units 1 and 2, setting them at 2029 and 2030, respectively.