The two Diablo Canyon Power Plant reactor units are licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate until November 2, 2024 (Unit 1), and August 26, 2025 (Unit 2). In 2016, Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced a joint proposal to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and storage while phasing out nuclear power. Pacific Gas and Electric’s application to close Diablo Canyon was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in January 2018 with Pacific Gas and Electric’s withdrawing its application for a licensing extension in February 2018.
Recent extreme heat events and wildfires have highlighted the need to plan for additional risk to California’s energy reliability. Senate Bill 846 (Dodd, Chapter 239, Statutes of 2022) (SB 846) requires the state to pursue an evaluation assessing the cost, benefits, and possible role of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in reliability planning efforts. The analyses developed by the CEC as part of the SB 846 requirements are captured in a series of reports.
- The Diablo Canyon Power Plant Operation Assessment report addresses a requirement in Senate Bill 846 (Dodd, Chapter 239, Statutes of 2022) for the California Energy Commission, in coordination with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator, to publish an assessment of the operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant that includes outage information, power plant operational costs, average revenues from electricity sales, worker attrition, and the power plant’s contribution to resource adequacy requirements.
- The Diablo Canyon Power Plant Extension – CEC Analysis of Need to Support Reliability addresses a requirement in SB Bill 846 for the CEC to determine the need to extend the operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant for 2024–2030. The analysis is based on a CEC assessment of the state’s electricity reliability based on forecasted demand and supply for that period. The CEC determined that is is prudent for the state to pursue extension of DCPP. This determination is driven by the risk that sufficient electricity resources may not be built in time to reach the ordered procurement and to address potential grid demands in extreme heat events associated with climate change.