Nuclear, Reactors, Waste Management & Decommissioning

PG&E Responds to Public Comments on Nuclear Plant Phaseout

By Editors of Power Engineering

Pacific Gas and Electric Company filed its official response to public comments on a joint proposal to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and storage while phasing out production of nuclear power at its Diablo Canyon facility by 2025.

The parties to the joint proposal are PG&E, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.

“The diverse parties behind the joint proposal, including labor and leading environmental groups, believe it represents the most appropriate and responsible path forward for supporting the state’s energy vision,” said Geisha Williams, president of PG&E Electric. “Most importantly, it reflects our strong commitment to supporting local employees as well as the community in transitioning to a future without Diablo Canyon Power Plant in operation.”

“We fully understand that elements of the joint proposal reflect important issues for the state and PG&E’s customers. The near decade-long period ahead of us provides the time to plan and replace Diablo Canyon’s energy with new GHG-free replacement resources.”

The response, which can be read here, was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission.

PG&E and the other parties announced the joint proposal earlier this summer. The full plan includes steps to phase out PG&E’s production at Diablo Canyon, which is set to shut down when the operating licenses expire on November 2, 2024 for Unit 1, and August 26, 2025 for Unit 2. During the transition period, PG&E will give the time to begin planning and replacing Diablo Canyon’s generating capacity with GHG-free replacement resources.

PG&E does not believe long-term customer rates will increase as the company predicts implementing the proposal will have a lower overall cost than relicensing Diablo Canyon and operating it through 2044. The proposal is contingent upon regulatory actions, including approval of the CPUC of the proposed plan, confirmation that PG&E’s investment in Diablo Canyon will be recovered by the time it closes in 2025, and approval of cost recovery for appropriate employee and community transition benefits.