Lands Commission approves new lease for Diablo Canyon

June 29, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power PlantThe three-member California State Lands Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new lease for the cooling system at Diablo Canyon power plant. The decision will likely allow PG&E to keep operating the nuclear power plant until 2025.

Last week, PG&E announced it struck a deal with labor and environmental groups to shut down the reactors at Diablo Canyon when their licenses expire in 2024 and 2025. Despite agreeing to shut down the nuclear plant, PG&E was still faced with the possibility of closure as early as 2018.

PG&E’s tidelands leases for the water intake and discharge units of the power plant’s cooling system were set to expire in Aug. 2018 and May 2019. The cooling system sucks in water from the ocean and then returns it. The system is needed in order to keep the plant operating.

On Tuesday, the Lands Commission approved a new lease for the entire cooling system, which expires at the time PG&E plans to shut down the nuclear plant in 2025. The commission also decided an environmental impact report was not needed before approving the lease extension.

State officials held the Lands Commission meeting in Sacramento but broadcasted it live at the Morro Bay Community Center. More than 100 people attended the meeting at the Morro Bay site, and the commission listened to several hours of testimony from public speakers at both locations.

Last December, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of the members of the Lands Commission, called for there to be a full environmental review before making a decison on the lease extension. Newsom changed his stance in the aftermath of PG&E’s agreement to close Diablo Canyon by 2025.

On Tuesday, Newsom said more time is needed to plan for the closure of Diablo Canyon. He said San Onofre nuclear power plant shut down too abruptly in 2012.

Some local officials, including Sheriff Ian Parkinson, said they needed more time to prepare for the budget losses that will occur as a result of Diablo Canyon closing.

Many environmentalists still insisted on the immediate shutdown of the nuclear plant. Critics of Diablo Canyon also opposed the lease extension on the grounds that the cooling system kills sea life.




  1. Gordo says:


    The dry cask storage which holds the spent fuel rods will be the responsibility of the federal government to maintain. I understand and appreciate your concern about having the spent fuel rods in are beautiful County. But you know how these NIMBYs can be; those people at Yucca Mountain in Nevada are refusing to take our spent fuel rods. How dare they keep that desert to themselves. Next thing they will object to ourputting our giant solar panels in their desert so we can have plenty of power since we’re getting away from that evil nuclear.

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  2. NorthCountyGuy says:

    When is Jerry Brown going to stop causing “Brownouts”.

    (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
  3. Jorge Estrada says:

    Will PG&E be required to maintain a 250,000 year lease for their spent fuel storage? That would be many half lives of PG&E employment.

    (-5) 25 Total Votes - 10 up - 15 down

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