For Immediate Release From TURN, The Utility Reform Network
Tuesday, June 21, 2016, San Francisco— TURN said today it supports the overall goal of a historic agreement between PG&E and environmental groups to shut down the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant at the end of its current operating license. TURN has a long history of criticizing PG&E’s management of the Diablo plant, starting with massive cost overruns and construction mistakes that plagued the plant from its inception.
Public opposition to Diablo has continued unabated since its original construction and was likely to intensify if PG&E sought to renew the plant license enabling operations through 2045. TURN did not participate in the negotiations between PG&E and environmental groups that resulted in the joint proposal for an early shutdown of Diablo but will review the terms and conditions carefully. The Joint Proposal calls for PG&E to shut down the plant no later than the end of the current licenses (in 2024-2025) and commits PG&E to replace most of Diablo’s output from energy efficiency, renewable energy and other clean energy resources that do not emit Greenhouse Gases.
“Customers will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their health and safety will not be put at risk by the continued operation of Diablo Canyon after 2024,” said TURN staff attorney Matt Freedman. “But consumers need to be protected against rate increases to pay for more than $50 million in costs for the now-abandoned license renewal proposal.” Freedman said TURN’s concerns include whether the clean replacement energy will be procured at the best possible price, the treatment of costs if the plant fails to operate though 2024, and PG&E’s pending proposal for the CPUC to approve a $1.3 billion increase in customer obligations for decommissioning the plant.
“PG&E saw the handwriting on the wall,” said Freedman. “For once, instead of fighting customers, PG&E will cede to their demands.”