California senator’s bill calls for report on impact of a Diablo Canyon shutdown

A measure that would require Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to submit to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) an assessment of the adverse economic impacts that could affect San Luis Obispo County if the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant were to shut down has passed the California Senate’s Fiscal Committee.

The measure, Senate Bill (SB) 968, which was proposed by Sen. Bill Monning (D), was passed in a 7-0 vote on May 27.

Monnng is the Senate Majority Leader in California. He introduced the measure in February.  

Currently, Unit 1 of Diablo Canyon is licensed to operate until November, 2024, and Unit 2 is licensed to operate until August, 2025. PG&E has filed for a 20-year license renewal for the two 1,100-MW pressurized water reactors in Avila Beach, California.

“The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is a major employer and taxpayer in San Luis Obispo County and no one can say with any certainty if it will continue to operate in the long-term,” Monning has said. “The region’s economy is reliant on the plant and it is critical that we have information about the potential adverse economic impacts that could occur if Diablo Canyon closes either temporarily or permanently.  Additionally, this information can be used to develop a regional economic mitigation strategy.”

Diablo Canyon has approximately 1,483 employees and PG&E is the largest property taxpayer in San Luis Obispo County.

SB 968 would require an independent third party to do the report, Monning said in a February news release. The report would have to be submitted to CPUC by July 1, 2018, according to a bill summary.

The measure is supported by a group called Californians for Green Nuclear Power.

Existing law requires CPUC to convene, or continue, until August 26, 2025, an independent peer review panel to conduct an independent review of enhanced seismic studies and surveys of the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 power plant, including the surrounding areas of the facility and areas of nuclear waste storage.

Pacific Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of PG&E Corp. (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.