Approval of Senate Bill 846 allows the power plant to remain open through 2030

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Extended operations of the Diablo Canyon Power Plan were discussed at the Tuesday, Sept. 27, San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting.

With the recent approval of Senate Bill 846 on Sept. 1, Tom Jones with PG&E submitted a presentation to the board with what is next for the power plant. The bill allows PG&E to take all necessary actions to extend operations of Unit 1 unit October 2029 and Unit 2 until October 2030 and provides a $1.4 billion loan to do it.

Jones explained with it taking power plants at least two years to contract fuel assemblies, Diablo was running out of time to extend its operations.

He added, “If this legislation didn’t occur this year, Unit 1 would not have the opportunity to run after 2024.”

The bill, authored by Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham of San Luis Obispo and Senator Bill Dodd of Napa, was approved earlier this month in the Assembly with a 67-3 vote.

While the power plant is looking forward to continuing its operations, they are continuing its decommissioning planning, which includes the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel.

Immediate actions Diablo is now taking to ensure future operations include completing their application with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Typically, NRC requires five years for application approval, and Diablo last filed its application with NRC in 2009. While Unit 2 is only two years away from its permit expiration, Jones says NRC has “discretion to accept an application.” Diablo is permitted to continue its operations while NRC is in deliberation.

To ensure a smooth transition into future decommissioning, Diablo is continuing plans for repurposing and future land use process, and decommissioning procedure revisions.

District 1 Supervisor John Peschong reiterated the need for the power plant to create more energy in California.

“It is a needed part of the grid to be able to keep the lights on and the power on, and I know there are people who are going to disagree with that, but I appreciate the work that was put into this,” he said.

Additionally, Peschong thanked PG&E and everyone involved for their efforts in keeping the Diablo Canyon Power Plant open.

“I do think this is a positive for our community, and I do think it is a positive for the State of California, and I’m glad we were able to get to this point,” said Peschong.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 9 a.m.