Regulators reject Diablo Canyon power plant’s renewal request

January 24, 2023

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Tuesday denied Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s request to resume review of its withdrawn renewal application request.

The operating licenses for the two reactors at Diablo Canyon are set to expire in 2024 and 2025. PG&E had been planning on shutting down the nuclear power plant at the conclusion of those terms, but the utility has since received backing from both federal and state officials for extending the operating life of Diablo Canyon.

PG&E needs to obtain license renewals from the NRC, as well as regulatory approval from other federal and state agencies in order to keep operating the plant past 2025. In October, PG&E submitted a request to allow Diablo Canyon to resume a 2009 license renewal application.

“Therefore, as described above, based on NRC regulations, NRC’s principles of good
regulation, the lack of sufficient information to support your request that the staff resume its review of the withdrawn application, and the lack of relevant precedent to support that request, the NRC staff will not initiate or resume the review of the withdrawn Diablo Canyon Power Plant application,” the NRC said in a Jan. 23 letter to PG&E.

As an alternative, PG&E requested an exemption to a regulation that requires nuclear power plants to file renewal applications at least five years before their existing license is set to expire. The NRC is considering the request and plans to provide a response in March.

If the exemption is approved, PG&E will likely file a new license renewal application by the end of 2023, while it continues to operate under the existing licenses.

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Hey hey heyyy! Don’t you worry! Long after Diablo shuts down and we are paying through the nose for energy from other states that has been generated by coal and natural gas, they will float out hundreds, if not thousands of beautiful butterfly-like wind turbines 20 miles off shore to make up for the lack of Diablo energy! These things will operate at a peak efficiency of 38% on good days…but only if the wind is blowing juuuuust right. Not too slow, not too fast! And you should see them crank out the juice during a storm! ***what? they don’t work during storms when we most need the power?*** I mean, they are totally safe for the environment during storms! Well, unless they break, or sink, or catch fire, spilling hundreds of gallons of oil and grease…

Besides, their 5 gigawatt initial production goals far exceeds Diablo’s measly and paltry 18,000 gigawatts. Why after the first 400 square mile, 5 gigawatt system is in place, there are 5 other 400 square mile system in the planning stage! With every one of these wind thingy’s working perfectly at the same time, we could see almost 25 gigawatts of clean clean electricity! How’s that for environmentally sound? Huh?! Right?

Good riddance, Diablo.

California is so good at charging more for everything, my thought is that the NRC wants their cut with whatever maneuver to justify it. My rational is with the science that is public today.

Legal rigamarole. Diablo will get re-licensed for at least ten more years, meaning it will be around until 2035 and possibly beyond. It’s continued existence points to the long run negligence of government officials who have been told for at least three decades that the nation needed to transition to renewables and that nuclear was never a long-term solution due to its volatility.

Agreed. But IMO just Extend the existing license. Renewal is just a paperwork issue. If there are valid engineering issues to be addressed they can be implemented using the same process for changes made to the plant to date.