Court rejects attempt to close Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant

April 30, 2024

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied a petition seeking to shut down Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County.

After agreeing to close 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. The nuclear plant provides nearly 10 percent of California’s electric power.

However, PG&E needed to obtain license renewals from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 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 in Nov. 2023.

Three non-profit organizations, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Working Group, petitioned for review of the NRC’s decision, arguing against the exemption.

On the other side, the NRC said the exemption was authorized by law, would not pose an undue risk to public health and safety, and that special circumstances were present. The NRC also concluded that the exemption met the eligibility criteria for a categorical exclusion, meaning no additional environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act was required.

The court denied the environmental groups petition for review.

“These arguments are not persuasive,” according to the ruling. “The prior NRC exemptions to the timely renewal rule referenced by petitioners are inapposite as those exemptions were granted because of a different special circumstance—that ‘application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.’ ”


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Its a fact the 100s of restricted access acreage surrounding Diablo have served for decades as an animal habitate, and many of the environmental groups seeking to close Diablo are funded by real estate developers, who seek to develop the property asap.

Thank you for leaving the lights on.

Good on the court.

Surprisingly uncommon common sense occasionally seen from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court. The judges live in California, want to keep their EV’s and would like to see their residential electricity supply remain plentiful, carbon-free, dependable and largely uninterrupted.