The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) first round of funding from its $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program is poised to go to Diablo Canyon Power Plant, California’s only operational nuclear plant.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Diablo Canyon’s owner, could receive up to $1.1 billion in credits to extend the 2.2-GW plant’s operation for five years beyond its current license expiration in 2025 to bolster the state’s energy system reliability while additional renewable energy and carbon-free resources come online, the DOE announced on Nov. 21.
Federal regulators today granted an exemption that will allow the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant to stay operating while it pursues permission to keep operating past 2025…
But state officials have not indicated that they intend to allow Diablo Canyon to stay open past 2030. Under a law passed last summer, SB 846, Unit 1 can keep running through Oct. 31, 2029, and Unit 2 until Oct. 31, 2030.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators say allowing Diablo Canyon to provide electricity until 2030 is critical to ensure the reliability of the grid as California transitions to renewable energy and weans itself off fossil fuels.
Friends of the Earth sued in state Superior Court in April, hoping to derail a state-backed proposal to keep the twin-domed plant running for at least five additional years. The group was part of a 2016 agreement with operator Pacific Gas & Electric to shutter the state’s last nuclear power plant by 2025.