90.1 FM San Luis Obispo | 91.7 FM Paso Robles | 91.1 FM Cayucos | 95.1 FM Lompoc | 90.9 FM Avila
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Federal court denies lawsuit concerning safety regulations at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2.
Photo by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2.

Mother’s For Peace, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Working Group filed the lawsuit last month.

They claimed that the US Department of Energy produced a final Environmental Impact Statement last year that relied on a “decades-old” analysis created by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Diane Curran is an attorney for Mothers for Peace. She says the organization is disappointed by the decision to deny the lawsuit.

“The NRC has rules that say if they're going to allow a plant to operate past the 40 year limit, they have to have a reasonable assurance that the licensing can cope with these changing conditions and the court, as hard as we try to get the court to understand that, they didn't seem to understand it,” Curran said.

The average age of a nuclear power plant, as of last year, is 42 years old. In similar cases, plants that want to keep operating after 40 years have to apply for, and be granted a review.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the plant's operator, was planning on retiring two of its aging reactors in 2024 and 2025, respectively, but the company filed an application to renew its license last year.

According to the Office of Nuclear Energy, utility company's now have the data needed to apply for a second 20 year operating license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is the last remaining nuclear plant in California. It provides energy for more than 3 million people, according to the plant's operator, Pacific, Gas and Electric.

Supporters of the plant say the plant is needed to help the country meet its renewable energy goals.

Curran says the organizations are still weighing next steps, but they’re considering going back to the court of appeals and asking for a reconsideration.

Gabriela Fernandez came to KCBX in May of 2022 as a general assignment reporter, and became news director in December of 2023. She graduated from Sacramento State with a BA in Political Science. During her senior year, she interned at CapRadio in their podcast department, and later worked for them as an associate producer on the TahoeLand podcast. When she's not writing or editing news stories, she loves to travel, play tennis and take her 140-lbs dog, Atlas, on long walks by the coast.
Related Content