Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in a major step toward renewing the Diablo Canyon Power Plant's operating licenses.
As of now, the operating licenses for Diablo Canyon's two units are scheduled to expire in 2024 and 2025. But on September 1, the California State Legislature approved Senate Bill 846, which allows for extended operations at the power plant for an extra five years.
That vote came amid increasing calls to keep the power plant running as the State of California works to transition to more renewable sources of energy.
PG&E says it requested that the NRC designate the appropriate licensing process to follow since the company withdrew its license renewal application in 2018 after deciding to decommission the power plant.
“We are proud of the role Diablo Canyon plays in providing safe, reliable, low-cost and carbon-free energy to our customers and Californians. This request to renew our licenses is another step to help California reliably achieve its bold decarbonization goals. We will help deliver on those goals while continuing to run one of the top performing plants in the country,” Paula Gerfen, PG&E's Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, said in a statement released Monday.
In order to continue operations, the NRC must renew the power plant's two licenses and PG&E says it will also need further regulatory approvals from the U.S. Department of Energy, California State Lands Commission, California Energy Commission, California Coastal Commission, and California Public Utilities Commission.