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In vote, SLO Co. supervisors back effort to keep Diablo Canyon open

County supervisors voted in favor of sending a letter to Gov. Newsom
Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 16, 2022

Diablo Canyon Power Plant is set to be decommissioned in 2025, 40 years after it began operation in San Luis Obispo County in 1985.

On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted to send a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom requesting he assist PG&E in accessing permits that could allow Diablo Canyon Power Plant to stay open.

The decommissioning process for the PG&E-owned nuclear power plant has been met with mixed opinions, including vocal pushback from those who wish to see the plant continue to operate.

This month, Save Clean Energy sent a letter to Gov. Newsom, signed by 79 scientists, academics and entrepreneurs, that requested the governor to delay closure of the plant.

In the Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 15, District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold raised the issue to a vote. District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson voted against it, and Districts 1 and 4 Supervisors John Peschong and Lynn Compton voted in favor. District 3 Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg abstained from the vote.

The decision to keep the power plant open does not rest in any single agency's hands, but activists are focusing much of their attention on Gov. Newsom.

"With the governor's support and [the California Public Utilities Commission]'s support, [it] would signal to PG&E or potentially another operator that there is interest in keeping the plant open," Isabelle Boemeke, founder of Save Clean Energy, told KSBY earlier this month.

Boemeke hopes that sign of interest could kick-start the process of relicensing the plant.

The nuclear power plant is on schedule to go offline as operating licenses expire for each of the two reactors, in 2024 and 2025 respectively.

Diablo Canyon Power Plant is located on the Pecho Coast between Los Osos and Avila Beach.