Lawsuit seeks to shutdown Diablo Canyon power plant

April 12, 2023

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant


A lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to stop PG&E from continuing to operate Diablo Canyon Power Plant in Avila Beach past 2025.

In 2016, Friends of the Earth and PG&E agreed in a contract that Diablo Canyon would close by 2025. This was in exchange for Friends of the Earth dropping a lawsuit over environmental and public safety concerns at the plant.

Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined PG&E could continue operating Diablo Canyon past 2025 while the utility works through the relicensing process.

Friends of the Earth responded with a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court. The suit asks the court to order the utility to abide by the 2016 agreement and shut the plant down by 2025.

“Contracts simply don’t vanish into thin air,” said Hallie Templeton, legal director for Friends of the Earth. “Yet ever since California passed legislation supporting Diablo Canyon’s extension, PG&E has been acting as if our contract has disappeared. Setting aside the agreement to retire Diablo, there are myriad legal prerequisites for extending operations of a nuclear power plant, including federal decisions that states cannot dictate.

“We hope our litigation can push PG&E to reconsider its potential breach and uphold its obligations, including preparing for the agreed-upon retirement.”

Friend of the Earth is represented by attorneys at Briscoe Ivester & Bazel LLP.

After agreeing to shut down the nuclear power plant in 2025, PG&E received backing from both federal and state officials to extend the operating life of Diablo Canyon through 2030, with a goal of providing Californians electric reliability.

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. A regulation, however, requires nuclear power plants to file renewal applications at least five years before their existing license is set to expire.

PG&E requested an exemption to the regulation, which the NRC approved last month.

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

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PG&E is doing everything he can to shift the long-term liability for Diablo Canyon to the state or any company with deep pockets (or a financial death wish.) Ask PG&E if it has liability insurance to cover the potential lawsuits should the plant ever face a serious earthquake. PG&E will not continue running the plant unless someone else covers the huge risks if the plant operates beyond 2025.

Yep, and they are going to get away with it because Governor Newsom and this state’s one-party system has made such incredibly stupid energy decisions, that PG&E and Diablo Canyon are their last desperate attempt to keep the lights on at least until the end of Newsom’s Presidential campaign. So it looks like the majority of Californians voted for people who will let PG&E slide on just about anything they to right now. Who ever though that Democrats would be responsible for extending the operating life of Diablo Canyon, or would be at the mercy of PG&E to keep the lights on.

I would also like to know where is all the money paid by ratepayers and taxpayers that was to offset the closure?, and if the plant is not closing, when is that money going to be returned?

The plant will eventually close, and I’m sure some of that offset money will still be there to use. Of course, closure will cost much more by then and the rate payers will fork our millions, probably billions more for the inevitable closure. PG&E is in a GREAT place right now as far as Diablo Canyon is concerned. Gavin Newsom is giving them big bucks to keep the plant open to cover-up his numerous blunders with regard to pretty much anything having to do with energy. In the process I’m sure PG&E will continue to drain rate payers of every penney they can, with regulators likely turning a blind eye. Newsom is running for President. Rolling blackouts aren’t a good look for a Presidential candidate, and he will do everything in his power to bribe PG&E into keeping the lights on. Newsom could care less about rate payers. The idiots that vote for him will continue to do so, even if their power bills triple. Until this state is released from the grip of it’s single party political system, there is NOTHING you can do but either open your wallet or move away.

Pennies on the dollar. Guessing you’ll get a check for about $17 after the reactor is refurbished. I’ve heard this argument. It’s stupidity on steroids.

Doubt highly you’ll even see $17. PG&E will claim that they need every penny they got from the ratepayers when the plant does finally close, plus a few billion more from the State because of whatever extra expenses they come up with for “having” to keep the plant open for a few more years. Government should never put itself at the mercy of a big corporation, but California did.

Seriously… how does anyone think we will power electric cars without power plants?….

Oh! Oh! I know!!

Coal burning power plants.

Oh, wait.

I certainly understand this anticipated lawsuit. Even though I am a strong supporter of continuing Diablo Canyon operations well beyond 2025, being well prepared to operate for an additional 10 to 20 years, I concur with this lawsuit. A contract is an extremely important legal document that binds all signers to adhere to the agreement. A great deal of work and concessions by many groups went into the agreement to shut down Diablo, which cannot be dismissed on a whim, which is what has been occurring, violating all of the important binding decisions made to shut the plant down. Now all of a sudden the State of CA, and PG&E, move to ignore and disband the legally binding agreement, without a public process of full review, which could and should take years. I can easily see why older planned lawsuits, which were put on hold due to the 2016 agreement, should now move forward. It took many months for the 2016 agreement to be developed and agreed upon, so it is prudent that the same kind of process must be pursued again in light of the apparent disregard for the 2016 agreement. Sadly, California and PG&E must be held accountable, under law, to pursue plant shutdown until a totally new rigorous public design and operational review and approval process is performed to allow the plant to continue operating beyond 2025. The public was shut out of the new push by the State and PG&E to keep Diablo running longer than 2025. But, you know, given what is happening in this nation over the past couple years, it is becoming clear that the public at large is not valued, with political leaders disregarding what the nation as a whole desires and demands. Our nation is becoming more and more “Government Over the People” instead of “Government By and For the People”. Because California government did not do their job properly over the past decade in planning development of the state’s power supplies, does not give them the right to run roughshod over the public by disregarding and violating established legal agreements and contracts. Their failure to properly address California’s power needs has been a dereliction of duty. In the face of not developing power supplies, Diablo’s extension of plant operation should have been a done deal many years ago, not left to fester until this very late date to become a manufactured “emergency”.

The actuaries are in favor of Diablo remaining and certainly the rate payers ultimately will fund this legal action. It is safer to use less electricity and we will due to the rates. A prime example is in Europe where skinny people are using less electricity. The humor is in the truth.