Estimated economic impact of Diablo closure smaller than expected

June 28, 2019

A state-commissioned UC Berkeley report has found the economic impact of the closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant will be significantly less than a previously circulated estimate of approximately $1 billion.

Previously, a report commissioned by PG&E and authored by the Nuclear Energy Institute and Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business found Diablo Canyon contributes approximately $920 million annually to the economies of SLO County and northern Santa Barbara County. The new UC Berkeley report concluded, following the closure of Diablo Canyon in 2025, economic activity in San Luis Obispo County is expected to decrease by $801 million annually, and the decline will almost entirely be offset by growth driven by a recently approved settlement package.

The UC Berkeley report projects a $724 million increase in economic output per year for 10 years following the closure of Diablo Canyon. Hence, a net economic loss of $77 million a year is expected, according to the report.

“We find that the net effect of these factors will be much smaller than previous estimates for DCPP closure,” according to the UC Berkeley. “Previous studies have only considered the negative shocks, whereas we take account of how decommissioning expenditures will substantially offset economic losses attributable to plant closure.”

A state-approved settlement package consists of PG&E doling out $85 million to local government agencies as compensation for lost tax revenue. Additionally, the utility will spend approximately $350 million on an employee retention program.

The funding is expected to generate significant stimulus to the San Luis Obispo County economy.

Following the closure of Diablo Canyon, there will be an estimated loss of 2,908 full-time equivalent jobs, the majority of which consist of direct employment from the nuclear plant. But, the report states the local economy will gain about 4,934 full-time equivalent jobs annually for 10 years after the closure of the nuclear plant.

The study was commissioned as a result of SB 968, authored by state Sen. Bill Monning, which mandated the California Public Utilities Commission have an independent third party conduct an economic impact assessment of the closure of Diablo Canyon. A public forum to discuss the report will be held Friday at 1 p.m. in the SLO County Board of Supervisors chambers.

Francesca Bolognini

According to S, David Freeman, general manager of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District for 4 years, the continued operation of Diablo Canyon is “The most expensive and dangerous source of energy on Earth. According to Mr. Freedman, Diablo Canyon and the since closed San Onofre Nuclear Plants are both “Disasters waiting to happen : “aging, unreliable reactors sitting near fault zones on the fragile Pacific Coast, with millions or hundreds of thousands of Californians living near by.” Even when the plant closes, there will be the problem of storage of spent fuel, currently residing in “containment ponds” at the site. Vulnerable to seismic activity and tsunamis. During the 1800’s there were several events higher than the cliffs where the ponds percolate.

And what waste! Plutonium, the most toxic substance on earth, has a radioactive half life of 244,000 years. It is toxic enough that only one atom is potent enough to cause cancer. Just where does one store a substance that lethal, that will remain so, in human terms, for eternity? Every plant produces about 500 pounds per year Hmmmm. Not good enough at math to calculate how many cancer producing atoms that would include. I also wonder how many of them go astray….. But who cares what you are doing for a living, when there is enough money involved, amIright?

“The most expensive”. Sorry if you are gonna lose that gravy train job. But I’m sick of ponying up for your extravagant salary whilst you allow the planet to be poisoned and increase the risk, daily, of a Fukushima type of event right here, the place I love most in the world. And PG&E (those highly responsible executives) tell us “It can’t happen here”, just like Tepco told the Japanese. Gee, that’s really reassuring. So what if the geologists they are not paying totally disagree, to the point of saying that the seismic events possible at the plant location far exceed the structural reinforcement.

If people who can envision themselves doing nothing other than stoking an antique nuke/money pit plant want to leave, I would be delighted to give them directions out of town. We could do just fine creating clean energy sources and showing leadership again in this state, rather than being manipulated into putting the future of this county at risk for an eternal destruction for the sake of a few oligarchs and shareholders. The power Diablo generates is not even used here. Seriously, just how gullible does someone need to be to think handing us temporary money makes up for the permanent damage they have done here?

But all of this means nothing to the geniuses commenting here because, ya know….money…!


These are the facts stated above, like it or leave it. Cleaner Nuclear with far safer isotopes with way shorter half lives are in the works, places like Universities, whom are Gov contractors; ie energy and military. Diablo is an dangerous antique.


And pigs can fly….


1. Where are these 5,000 magic jobs coming from? Trucks moving people out of state?

2. Has the State estimated the increased cost of electricity? Electricity prices always jump when a nuclear power plant is closed.

3. Closing a major power source that emits no horrible “CO2” seems backwards and contradictory.


“”Where are these 5,000 magic jobs coming from?”” They will be created from “significant stimulus” from the closing of Diablo Canyon and the elimination of those jobs.

“”Has the State estimated the increased cost of electricity?”” Yes. They estimate it will go way up. Plus, everyone needs to drive electric cars and have all electric appliances in their homes.

“”Closing a major power source that emits no horrible “CO2” seems backwards and contradictory.”” Yes, it does. But elected officials know a lot more about everything than we do. Trust them.


Closing UC Berkeley would do more for the California economy than closing Diablo. At least Diablo is producing something useful. Can’t say much of anything of value is coming out of Berkeley.


I concur. Hiring Berkeley to prepare a report that minimizes the economic impact of the closure is like asking Russia to make an argument for democracy.


Figures never lie, but liars always figure. We’re told that raising taxes stimulates the economy, even if it puts small business on the ropes.

At the same time, we’re told that losing thousands of high paying jobs isn’t that big of a deal.

If people don’t think the closure of Diablo Canyon won’t have an impact on the local economy, they’re experiencing cognitive dissonance.


you said it, Doc. and Cooper….. this report is all a crockpot of B.S

quoting with laughs, from paragraph two in the story… “and the decline will almost entirely be offset by growth driven by a recently approved settlement package.” I guess they follow the practice of “tell the big lie often enough, and people will believe”.

Add to that the LOST REVENUE from those who enjoy bringing their iron to ride the beach and dunes, and we will soon see intense marketing by the hurting local economy to “vacation or stay-cation locally…..PLEASE.”.


I can see it now……”Come stay in a vegan, bicycle friendly, inclusive and smoke-free city and shop in our downtown! Experience heaven on earth! Parking packages for green vehicles are required and in limited supply, so plan ahead and purchase before your vacation**

For nature lovers, permits are required for guided hikes on the dunes or to Diablo Canyon and can be purchased in advance….but hurry, space is limited!” ***

** Hybrid and electric vehicles are allowed to park downtown with a parking package. Trucks, gasoline-only cars and all off-road vehicles are strictly prohibited.

***no leather shoes or clothing is allowed on the trail. Hikers must not bring any outside food or drink on hikes but are permitted a liter of water in a bamboo or other biodegradable bottle per person.


$724 million per year – based on what? where is the money coming from?


The extortion of any entity functioning in Commiefornia. The headliner a few days ago was upcoming fines for the fires the wind caused..I mean PG&E caused. Yet they just awarded the town of Paradise a Billion dollars. For what? why isnt this going to the families who lost their homes and possessions? Ca gov has lost its mind, any hint of integrity, morals and ethics. Another gas tax on the way, more freebies who contribute nothing to its economy. Where does it end? When the working mans money runs out that’s when.




Exactly! What kind of jobs? T-shirt & trinket sales?

Rich in MB

Just cut the Air Conditioning power to the Folks in North County….power shortage problem solved.