2018 - 01 - 11 Diablo Canyon closure approved by the CPUC

In August of 2016 Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) , along with six labor and environmental groups, filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a joint proposal to shut down the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by 2025. The parties to the joint proposal were PG&E, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, the Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility. The CPUC made its Final Decision on the conditions of plant closure on January 11, 2018.

 

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) and Women’s Energy Matters (WEM) welcome the unanimous decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. In remarks supporting the Decision, CPUC President Michael Picker cited the work of MFP and WEM in the proceeding.  The two organizations presented testimony and analysis showing that the plant is increasingly uneconomic to operate.

Although PG&E proposes to shut down the two reactors at Diablo Canyon in 2024 and 2025, today’s Decision keeps open the door for an earlier closure date.

The Decision authorizes the Commission to reconsider PG&E's requested 2024/2025 retirement dates should "facts change in a manner that indicates Diablo Canyon should be retired earlier."   The Decision states that, "Because there is a possibility that Diablo Canyon may cease operations earlier than 2024 and 2025, PG&E should prepare for that contingency."

MFP attorney Sabrina Venskus reacted to the CPUC Decision by stating,

"The Commission made a well-reasoned and fair decision in this case. We are pleased that the Commission acknowledged that earlier closure of Diablo may be warranted, and has built into its Final Decision the possibility of
challenging the continued operation of Diablo well before the anticipated
2024/2025 shutdown."

Jean Merrigan of Women’s Energy Matters states that,

“When the Joint Proposal was announced, I was underwhelmed by PG&E's proposal to retire the plant in 2024/25. We set out to show that a much earlier retirement date is not only viable but needed. I'm glad the Commission acknowledged our work and that the Decision allows for the possibility that the plant could close sooner rather than later."

Links to more information:

The Proposed Decision wording that was unanimously accepted on January 11 as the Final Decision http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M205/K090/205090240.PDF

 

The Opening Brief filed by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace attorney Sabrina Venskus is at https://mothersforpeace.org/2017-05-26-opening-brief-regarding-joint-proposal-for-closure-of-diablo-to-cpuc-of-slomfp

Women’s Energy Matters' Reply Brief with Comments on the Proposed Decision may be viewed at

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M202/K235/202235522.PDF

WEM and MFP co-sponsored expert testimony by Robert Freehling on Diablo Canyon retirement issues.  That testimony is available at https://mothersforpeace.org/data/2017/robert-freehling-testimony/view

The archived webcast of the January 11, 2018 meeting of the CPUC is at 

http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/voting_meeting/20180111/

The Diablo Canyon discussion starts about an hour into the webcast.