Environmental Groups Push Feds To Block Exemption Request From Pacific Gas & Electric

Three special interest groups in California have filed a written petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, demanding a full closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by August 2025. The San Luis Obispo Mothers For Peace, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Working Group are angry that Pacific Gas and Electric, which operates Diablo Canyon has requested an exemption from the Timely Renewal Rule. Timely Renewal Rule…simply means all documents and fees required for renewal have been submitted to the appropriate departments prior to the expiration date of the company certification.

Previously, in October 2022, PG&E had sked the NRC to review its 2009 license renewal application, which PG&E initially withdrew in 2018.  For good measure, on January 24th 2023, the NRC denied PG&E’s request to review that license renewal application. Governor Gavin Newsom, who is pushing for only wind and solar power to be used in California, is no fan of nuclear power, even though nuclear power has no emissions and does not contribute to climate change.

Newsom  is  leading the charge to keep Diablo Canyon open past it’s original closure date, because California currently does not have the capacity to generate all its electricity from renewable sources.  More electricity will be needed in the future, as electric cars replace gasoline-powered cars. PG&E could file a new license renewal application, but even on a fast track, it could take the NRC up to 5 years to review a new application.


FILE – This Nov. 3, 2008, file photo, shows above ground casks designed to store radioactive waste from a nuclear reactor at Pacific Gas and Electric’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant in Avila Beach, Calif. Without new operating licenses, the plant can’t run past 2025. Renewing a nuclear power license is a lengthy proposition, and so even with years to go it’s fast becoming a late hour. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File) used locally Feb 14th 2023