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Environmental group accuses PG&E of misleading public about Diablo Canyon operating costs

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
dirtsailor2003/ Flickr
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

An environmental group alleges that PG&E is misleading the public about how much it costs to extend the life of the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant.

At a meeting Thursday morning, the Environmental Working Group claimed if the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant continued operations until 2030, it would cost the state nearly $12 billion.

Peter Bradford, a former member of the U-S Nuclear Regulatory Commission, spoke at the meeting.

“The people in charge of managing the plants really aren't the ones exposed to the consequences of cost overruns,” Bradford said. “They’re pointed towards federal taxpayers, state taxpayers, California ratepayers from the southern tip of the state to the northern end.”

Linda Seeley, a spokesperson for Mothers for Peace, also spoke at the event.

“We don't need Diablo Canyon's power because we have plenty of renewables to replace it,” Seeley said.

PG&E officials said those claims are false — the estimated costs would be about $3 billion less than what the activists are alleging. Officials also say that renewable energy from wind and solar have fallen behind the state’s targets, making the plant needed.

The utility company said if operations are extended, the power plant would help California meet its renewable energy goals while providing nearly 9% of the state’s energy needs.

KCBX Reporter Sarina Grossi is a Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo graduate. At Cal Poly, she worked as a news anchor and reporter for KCPR Radio and as the Digital Manager for Mustang Media Group. Sarina was editor-in-chief of her community college newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, do arts and crafts, and go to thrift and antique stores.
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