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Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold Diablo Canyon public forum in SLO tonight

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant produces about 9% of the state's energy supply.
The Diablo Canyon Power Plant produces about 9% of the state's energy supply.

There’s a public forum tonight on the future of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

It’s at 6p.m. both in-person at the SLO County Supervisor Chambers and live-streamed. It’s being hosted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency which oversees nuclear power plants.

Diablo Canyon was slated to close over the next two years, but its operator Pacific Gas & Electric is now applying to extend its life. Last year, PG&E received more than $1 billion in state and federal loans to keep the plant operating, but the utility still has to get it approved through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Diablo’s extension is controversial. The plant accounts for about 9% of the state’s energy portfolio, which advocates say needs to stay in place because of projected energy shortages in the next few years. Opponents cite economic and safety concerns, arguing the plant is unreliable and possibly dangerous. PG&E maintains it’s safe and reliable.

The forum is a chance for Central Coast residents to question Nuclear Regulatory Commission representatives directly. There will be a public comment period after presentations by the NRC and PG&E, and the meeting is scheduled to end at 9p.m.

Participants can show up in-person to the SLO County Supervisor Chambers on Monterey Street in SLO, or you can watch a livestream at cal-span.org. There are also other livestream options on nrc.gov.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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