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NRC Rejects Request to Shut Down Diablo Canyon
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejected a request to shut down a nuclear reactor at the 2,250 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The NRC, in an October 3, 2023 decision, took no action on the request from two environmental groups to shut down the Unit 1 reactor immediately. Friends of the Earth and Mothers for Peace filed a petition in September to shut down the plant.
The NRC also rejected a request for a hearing to reconsider a 2003 NRC decision to extend the testing schedule for the Unit 1 pressure vessel until 2025. The environmental groups content that the last inspections on the vessel took place between 2003 and 2005. Pacific Gas & Electric said the plant was in “full compliance” with industry and regulatory standards for monitoring and evaluating the reactor vessels.
The request to shut down the reactor is part of ongoing legal challenges to shut down the plant. In August, a California judge rejected a lawsuit from the Friends of the Earth, which asked the court for injunctive relief to prohibit PG&E from violating a 2016 agreement to close the nuclear power plant by 2025. (See Environmental Group Sues to Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant; Court Rejects Environmental Group Suit to Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.)
Friends of the Earth was a party to the 2016 joint proposal to close Diablo Canyon when the operating licenses of the plant’s two reactors their expired in 2024 and 2025. Concerns over electricity supply and reliability, however, led legislators to extend Diablo Canyon’s two units by five years to 2029 and 2030. (California Keeps Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Open.)