Officials vote to extend life of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

December 15, 2023

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant


California energy regulators voted Thursday to allow Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in Avila Beach to continue producing energy through 2030.

After agreeing to shut down the nuclear power plant in 2025, PG&E received backing from both federal and state officials earlier this year to extend the operating life of Diablo Canyon through 2030, with a goal of providing Californians electric reliability. The nuclear plant provides nearly 10 percent of California’s electric power.

The California Public Utilities Commission agreed on Thursday to allow the aging plant to continue operating for an additional five years, after noting costs associated with the extension will likely exceed $6 billion.

The issue of extending the lifespan of the nuclear power plant has pitted those calling for California to address its energy deficiencies against activists expressing environmental and safety concerns. Critics have also voiced concerns the extension will cause electric bills to soar.

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My intuition reads after 2030 it will be time to update the plant to a new generation reactor while the existing plant is given the needed “final” extension to 2050. This period will be for the new plant construction and transitioning off of the old plant. Certainly this will provide many new jobs, including years of demo and material recycling.

Yes, nuclear is a viable solution. But central power generation is a thing of the past; it’s a way to ensure profits for entities that generate power and sell it to people. When giant companies generate power, it’s a sure fire guarantee for profits, as the PUC never turns down a rate increase.

In the end, the only solution is distributed power, such as rooftop solar, which is also a viable solution. But it’s clear that government agencies will continue to follow the buck and continue to toss money at centralized power solutions such as aging power plants. If you want to free yourself from this tyranny, you’re gonna need to invest in your own power generation and get off the grid completely. It’s gonna take a large investment on people’s part, partially because the power generation companies are directing government agencies to remove any remaining incentives for distributed power generation. In short, we the people can solve our own problems; no one else will do it for us.

The idiots here are the state of california and anti-nuclear people. The plant was basically forced into shutting it down. The state of CA then realized they were going to be up the creek without the paddle (Diablo power), and then requested that DIABLO stay open-for now.

Who are the villains???.

Many but we know who the fools are, the taxpayers, they first got to pay for shutting it down, then paid for PG&E’s failures in maintaining their system, now they pay for keeping Diablo open.

How did PGE fail to maintain their system, their soon to be closed down system ?

Their electric distribution system, you may recall a litte issue in a town called Paradise

Yes. I have no problem in beating them up about paradise. That has nothing to do the state closing Diablo and then saying ” oh, my bad, nevermind”

It has to do with putting all this on the backs of the ratepayers who already pay some of the highest rates in the country instead of on PG&E

I wonder how much actually clean renewable power, sans unsolvable storage issues 6 BILLION would have gotten us? Well, it is only taxpayer money, after all, and there are plenty of hands out in the nuclear industry, ready to take that and leave us with the pollution or worse. A sucker born every minute.

$6 Billion, could build one good sized, or a few small sized nuke plants, that would easily and safely fill the state grid with 24/7 clean and green power.

What pollution? Spilled oils and grease? Un-recyclable plastic turbine blades? Damage from fires of shorted out generators? Millions of solar panels stacked to the clouds, because you can’t recycle them either? Hundreds of thousands of acres covered with “clean renewable power” that force out local flora and fauna—but only if the sun is shining, and the wind is blowing?

None of that could ever be blamed on the small environmental footprint of a nuke plant. Oh…we long ago solved the storage issue.

Id love to hear what the solution for the storage is.

The same one being used today. Dry casks, bolted to a massive reinforced concrete slab. Nuclear waste isn’t what you think. Yes, while measurably radioactive, it is a small percentage compared to the fuel actually in the reactor. That is why they call it “spent fuel”. Spent fuel can be further degraded to make very heavy things from the Uranium.

The science (remember, “the science” is paramount…) had a plan to bury all our waste, deep underground. The Earth itself would block and absorb any escaping particles…just like it did before it was mined in the first place.

Ironically the rampaging enviro-dupes got that project stopped in Nevada. You know Nevada? Where many dozens of nuclear explosions were tested for decades? But somehow, THIS radioactive material, sealed inside a very thick steel and concrete cask was….dangerous. Not dangerous enough to not store them out in the open, like Diablo, but too dangerous to store deep underground.

If you can explain that logic, I’d love to hear it.

France has 58 operating nuclear plants, making 75% of their nation’s needs (Kettle? This is what I meant about a few small ones). They also reprocess their waste, and add it to the fuel source inside their reactors, resulting in magnitude smaller tonnage of spent fuel in the end.

Know why we don’t do that? I’ll refer you to the previously mentioned enviro-dupes.

Yucca Mountain spent nuclear fuel repository for starters. Billions were spent studying and constructing the state-of-the-art site in accordance with a long-standing agreement by the federal government to provide a national facility for the disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste. It was completed, funded and ready to begin operations but Nevada Senator Harry Reid and President Obama killed the project and reneged on the decades long promise to provide a long-term underground storage facility. The Yucca Mountain project needs to be re-opened and placed into service.

Hmm, fear mongering and innuendo vs all of us actually dying a little everyday from fossil fuels….

6 Billion would buy 30 Million – 200 watt solar panels @$200. Divide that by 5 and you get 6 million KW / hour generation capability. @ 10 Hrs per day (sunlight) over 365 days you get roughly 21 Billion watts/ year. Or 21 Gigawatts. When compared to Diablo’s 18000 GW annual output it would produce 1/85 of the power in the same amount of time.

400 watt panels go for $200-$270 retail, so it’s even better.

Check the math, MrYan, you are off by a factor of 10. First of all, you can’t figure on getting 10 hours of optimum solar power generation every day for 365 days per year. On average, SLO County gets 267 sunny days per year (the national average is 205). If Diablo Canyon has an annual output of 18,000 Gigawatts, and your 30 million solar panels could optimally produce around 21 Gigawatts over that time, the solar panels are achieving less than 0.12% (not 1.2%) of the output, or roughly 1/857, not 1/85, of the power from Diablo Canyon NPP.

Using k’s scenario of 400-watt solar panels at $250 each, you can buy 24,000,000 panels, with a resultant 9.6 million KW per hour output capacity. Figuring 10 hours of sunlight each day for a year (very unrealistic), you get roughly 35 billion watts per year or 35 Gigawatts. Still, this is paltry 0.194%, or about 1/515 of the annual energy production from DCNPP, assuming a 18,000 GW annual production. (In 2022, DCNPP actual output was 17,593 GW, and in 2021 it was 16,477 GW.) Industrial scale solar photovoltaic panels and even wind turbine installations requiring tens of thousands of acres can’t compete with the massive energy production delivered by a nuclear power plant situated on just several hundred acres.


Great plan because there’s nothing to replace it. Dah.

Really? i went off grid 2.5 years ago, using nothing but sunlight. Never had an outage since then, unlike my neighbors connected to Diablo Canyon and Pg&E.