Nuclear Energy in California and the Decommissioning of Diablo Canyon
Friday, January 6
The Samuel Lawrence Foundation invites you to meet with Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath via Zoom on Friday, January 6 at 11:30am PT.
Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath was one of three courageous legislators to vote against Governor Newsom’s September 2022 bill to extend the operation of the dirty and dangerous Diablo Canyon nuclear plant beyond 2025.
Horvath will explain why she voted against Governor Newsom’s actions to solicit $1.4 billion in State funds to extend its decommissioning dates and give us insights into the tangled intersection between the nuclear issue and politics in Sacramento.
She will highlight the most pressing risks that come with keeping the aged, corroded, and embrittled Diablo Canyon nuclear plant online through 2025 and potentially beyond. Importantly, she will expand on how this decision to keep Diablo running impacts the financial security of ALL California taxpayers.
Finally, she will provide strategies to ensure that our community’s concerns are heard and upheld by our local and national leaders.
Following her brief talk, Assembly Member Horvath will hold a Q&A session moderated by Dr. Peter Andersen, Professor Emeritus at SDSU’s School of Communication.
SB 846 passed in the dark of night on September 1, 2022. Only three legislators voted against it. It does the following:
Potentially Extends Operation for 5 Years: The bill allows for extended operation for a period of 5 years beyond the scheduled closure dates of 2024 and 2025. This now establishes new closure dates of October 31, 2029, for Unit 1 and October 31, 2030, for Unit 2.
Nullified the Joint Agreement: It invalidated a 2018 California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) decision detailing the retirement of Diablo Canyon and its decommissioning plan. This plan had been agreed to by PG&E, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Friends of the Earth, National Resources Defense Council, Environment California, and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility – and approved by California legislators.
Provides a Forgivable Loan: It allows a forgivable “loan” of up to $1.4 billion to PG&E for the costs of extended operation of Diablo Canyon – paid for by all California ratepayers.
Eliminates Environmental Review: Diablo is categorized as an “existing facility” for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act, thereby eliminating environmental review of any project on the Diablo site.
Exempts Once-Through Cooling from Environmental Review: It allows continued use of the existing once-through cooling system at Diablo Canyon despite causing significant marine degradation. The bill sets a NEW final compliance date for the once-through cooling system of October 31, 2030. This defies federal law.
Expedited Review: The bill requires any necessary state agency actions be completed within 180 days, playing havoc with due diligence.
Runaway Profits: There is still no cap on the $7/MWh “performance-based distribution” paid out of the loan, and includes a management fee of $100 million a year.
All Californians Will Pay: Net of costs covered by loan disbursements and federal subsidies will be recovered via non‑bypassable charges from the customers of all CPUC-jurisdictional load-serving entities statewide (i.e., not just customers in PG&E’s service territory).
Hits PG&E Customers: A separate surcharge is applicable only to customers in PG&E’s service territory, “in lieu of a rate-based return on investment,” to compensate PG&E for “the greater risk of outages of an older plant” like Diablo Canyon.