Morning Briefing - July 08, 2024
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July 08, 2024

No hearing for enviros about Diablo Canyon renewal request, licensing board says

By ExchangeMonitor

Environmental groups had standing to challenge a utility’s request to renew its operating license for California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant but the groups’ complaints are inadmissible, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission board ruled.

“With this Order, we chronicle yet another chapter in the ongoing narrative of the Diablo

Canyon Nuclear Power Plant,” the Atomic Safety Licensing Board wrote in a memorandum and order dated July 3. “While we don’t know how the narrative ends, we do know this chapter will end with this Order.”

The groups, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Friends of the Earth and Environmental Working Group on March 5 challenged the 20-year license renewal request Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) Co. filed in November with the NRC. 

The environmentalists cited issues with the Diablo Canyon Unit 1 reactor, which they said may have become unacceptably brittle, the potential for damaging earthquakes at or near the plant and failure to comply with state and federal wildlife protection requirements.

The groups may appeal the board’s ruling within 25 days, according to the order.

PG&E seeks a 20-year NRC license renewal for the two-reactor Diablo Canyon plant, though California has approved only a five-year extension, to 2030. In a 2022 reversal of state policy, California ordered the utility to keep the plant open. Including a new credit extended last week, PG&E has gotten more $2 billion in state and federal loans to help with the life extension.

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