PG&E files Diablo Canyon closure plan with state regulators

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is slated to close when its final license expires in 2025.
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is slated to close when its final license expires in 2025. jjohnsotn@thetribunenews.com

PG&E filed its proposal Thursday to close Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by 2025 with the California Public Utilities Commission.

The submittal now begins a formal review process before the state agency that will include the participation of the San Luis Obispo County and the San Luis Coastal Unified School District.

No schedule for the agency’s review has been set, but PG&E is asking that the proceedings conclude by June 2017. The schedule could include one or more public hearings held in either San Luis Obispo or San Francisco, where the agency is headquartered.

“Today’s joint parties filing allows for the CPUC’s open and transparent public review process to move ahead,” said Blair Jones, PG&E spokesman. “We encourage members of the public to participate in the state’s well-established process.”

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant will be shut down in 2025 after its operating licenses expire.

On June 21, PG&E, along with a coalition of labor and environmental groups, proposed a joint plan to close Diablo Canyon when the plant’s two federally issued operating licenses expire in 2025.

The groups said the eight- to nine-year transition period will give PG&E time to replace Diablo Canyon’s energy with new greenhouse gas-free electrical generation. The utility also has promised to provide incentives to retain employees during the remainder of the plant’s operation as well as retention and retraining of a percentage of the employees for the decommissioning of the plant.

Additionally, PG&E has agreed to pay San Luis Obispo County nearly $50 million. This money is intended to offset declining property taxes through 2025 as the county develops a transition plan.

Both the county and San Luis Coastal Unified School District have voted to become intervenors in the CPUC review process. The city of San Luis Obispo is also investigating the possibility of becoming an intervenor.

Intervenors have the right to offer testimony to the CPUC and participate in hearings before that agency. PG&E is recommending that hearings be held Dec. 13 to Dec. 16 — but it is up to the CPUC to provide the final schedule.

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant employees have eight years to decide whether they want to stay in SLO County or move to another plant after it was announced that Diablo Canyon would close in 2025.