Diablo Canyon

San Luis Obispo County

This week Central Coast congressman Rep. Salud Carbajal is hosting a town hall meeting specifically about the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The state’s last nuclear power plant - owned by Pacific Gas and Electric - is expected to close in 2025, if the California Public Utilities Commission approves PG&E's request to do so.

Alert at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

Jul 28, 2017
Flickr member Tracey Adams

FINAL UPDATE: PG&E ended the alert at 6:45 p.m. on Friday night, saying air quality in the affected reactor was restored.

UPDATE 7/28/17 3:20 p.m.: The county's emergency operation center says "the plant is in a safe condition and remains at full power. There is no radiological release at this time." 

Flickr member Tracey Adams

Hearings for Pacific Gas and Electric’s decommissioning plan for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant got underway Wednesday before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In a parallel case concerning PG&E’s request to raise customer rates to cover its nuclear decommissioning costs, a CPUC administrative law judge issued a proposed decision Thursday to deny PG&E’s multi-billion dollar cost estimate for closing Diablo Canyon, reducing it by $1.4 billion. 

Wikimedia commons/Marya Figueroa

Hearings start Wednesday morning in San Francisco for Pacific Gas and Electric’s request to retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. PG&E representatives will go before the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to ask for permission to decommission the plant, as well as approval of a joint agreement PG&E made between San Luis Obispo County and several cities, a school district, labor unions and environmental groups.

PG&E video still

Templeton resident Jordan Cunningham was elected to the California State Assembly in November. The Republican lawmaker represents the 35th District, which encompasses all of San Luis Obispo County and a portion of Santa Barbara County. The second bill he introduced since being elected, AB 457, calls for feasibility study on repurposing the existing desalination plant at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant as a public water supply. KCBX spoke with Cunningham in a recent phone interview about his ideas for the PG&E-owned nuclear power facility scheduled to be decommissioned starting in 2025. 

Randol White/KCBX

Pacific Gas and Electric has agreed to pay out $85 million to San Luis Obispo County and several Central Coast cities and public schools to help ease the proposed closure of California's last nuclear power plant.

Randol White/KCBX

Cities throughout San Luis Obispo County are officially asking the State of California for more of a say in the closure of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Randol White/KCBX

A joint proposal by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to shut down San Luis Obispo County's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant over the next nine years has been formally filed with the state's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). 

Diablo Canyon shut-down plan clears first hurdle

Jun 28, 2016
San Luis Obispo County

The California State Lands Commission (SLC) voted unanimously Tuesday to grant a request by PG&E to operate on the state property where Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant sits through 2025. 

PG&E video still

Effective immediately, PG&E said Tuesday it will cease any efforts on its part to renew the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant operating licenses.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced Tuseday that it will give Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) two extra months to reevaluate Diablo Canyon's vulnerability to earthquakes.

San Luis Obispo County

The state will continue to provide money to pay for emergency plans related to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant now that Governor Jerry Brown has given his signature. The new law also addresses seismic safety. 

Pacific Southwest Region US Fish and Wildlife

Green energy—and the definition of that would depend on who you talk to—is a growing part of the Central Coast economy. Solar energy in particular has really taken off in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties.

According to Atascadero-based Solarponics, San Luis Obispo County has more solar generation per-capita than any other county in the nation. And in terms of major solar fields, the Central Coast's inland region has just about any other location beat.

San Luis Obispo County

There will soon be a new source of water to fight wildfires on the Central Coast. The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Tuesday a contract with PG&E to purchase desalinated water produced out at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Supervisor Adam Hill says the plant only uses about 40 percent of its production capacity, so some of that excess water can now be used in CAL FIRE tanker trucks.

The safety of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is being considered by members of the U.S. Senate. The Committee on Environment and Public Works heard testimony Wednesday from Central Coast political and community leaders.

Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) addressed committee chair Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) regarding recent earthquake information that suggests the power plant is not safe.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

The California State Water Board will hold a public hearing Tuesday afternoon to present studies regarding Diablo Canyon's cooling process. The hearing is informational in nature.

The state's only operating nuclear power plant currently uses a system known as once-through cooling (OTC).

PG&E is required under the Federal Clean Water Act to study alternative methods of cooling that would have less of an impact on marine life.

San Luis Obispo County

An environmental group working to shut down Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County is taking its argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C.

Diablo Canyon is the only nuclear power plant still operating in California.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

The Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee is scheduled to conclude its two days of public meetings in Avila Beach on Wednesday, starting with a tour of the power plant itself.

A big topic on the agenda for this round of public comment was the committee's position on the nuclear power plant's cooling methods. Members heard hours of public comment Tuesday afternoon, including a presentation by Bill Powers, an engineering consultant with Friends of the Earth. 

San Luis Obispo County

Reactor No. 2 at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is currently shut down for scheduled maintenance and refueling.

PG&E says it needs to bring in more than a thousand highly-trained workers to complete the process. Each of the plant's two reactors need to be refueled about every 18 months.

Similar work was performed on Unit 1 earlier this year.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

Pacific Gas and Electric Company released a report Wednesday saying Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is seismically safe and able to withstand the largest potential earthquakes for the area.

The report was submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and presented to the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) Independent Peer Review Panel.

In a statement to the media, the utility included quotes from scientists that highlight the research effort.

The San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services will conduct its annual test of the Diablo Canyon Early Warning System on Saturday.

The siren tests are scheduled at noon, and again at 12:30 p.m. During the testing, all 131 sirens will be activated simultaneously according to the county.

The county's reverse 9-1-1 system will also be tested for all landline and registered cell phones located within the Emergency Planning Zone. That test will take place Saturday morning between 9 a.m. and noon, prior to the siren testing.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

Diablo Canyon's Unit 2 reactor was offline Friday evening as Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews fix recently discovered problems on a couple of the unit's backup generators.

According to PG&E, the reactor was shut down Thursday night so that a couple of parts—described as fasteners or bolts—could be replaced.

Crews decided during routine maintenance that the parts were not performing properly. PG&E is required to keep two out of the unit's three backup generators in good running order at all times in case of a power outage at the plant.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

Scientists are gathering in Southern California this week to consider methods for studying the cancer rates of those who live near nuclear facilities like Diablo Canyon. 

The National Academy of Sciences' project is in its pilot planning phase. This week's efforts will include appointing committees, considering current data, and identifying the concerns and perceptions of key stakeholders.

While the team will be working on the project for most of the week, Thursday's meeting at UC Irvine's Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center is open to the public and can be viewed online.