We are getting new numbers on how much money it will take to decommission the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
PG&E says it will cost $4.1 billion to shut down Diablo Canyon, but it’s still unclear exactly when that will happen.
The future of California’s last operating nuclear power plant is still uncertain.
PG&E is filing to extend operations beyond 2025 while planning to eventually shut down the plant at the same time.
“So, that makes it a challenging time for our community because we’re in a state of uncertainty,” said Los Osos Resident Linda Seeley, who is concerned about extending the life of Diablo Canyon beyond the previously scheduled decommissioning of both reactors.
“My concern is that the problems and the challenges that are set up by decommissioning may not be well addressed because they’re working so hard to keep the plant open now,” said Seeley.
Those in favor of nuclear power say it’s a reliable source of energy that was not disrupted by January 9th’s torrential storm.
“During those recent floods, diablo canyon ran 24/7,” said Gene Nelson, Senior Legal Researcher at Californians for Green Nuclear Power. “When things are really rainy, having reliable power is super important, and that’s what diablo canyon specializes in.”
Others are concerned about nuclear waste storage as PG&E moves forward with relicensing.
“Back when we were talking about approving Diablo Canyon, it was called the Diablo Canyon Power Plant---people weren’t calling it the Diablo Canyon power plant and nuclear waste dump,” said San Luis Obispo Resident Paul Veesart.
PG&E says it’s looking at the impacts that more nuclear waste could have on long-term storage while also looking at other concerns.
“While PG&E is pursuing relicensing of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, at the same time—we are continuing to update our decommissioning plans for whenever that may be,” said PG&E Spokesperson Suzanne Hosn.
The utility says that costs associated with decommissioning will not be passed onto customers in the future.
“This proposal that’s being considered by the California Public Utilities Commission does not require any additional increase in rates from our customers. So, there’s a net-zero outcome there,” explained Hosn.
PG&E plans to submit a relicensing application by the end of 2023.
Last week, the RNC ruled that PG&E must submit a new license renewal application instead of picking up where the utility left off in 2009.