SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s last nuclear power plant will close by 2025 under an accord announced Tuesday, ending three decades of safety debates that helped fuel the national anti-nuclear power movement.
The state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and environmental groups announced the agreement on the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which sits along a Pacific Ocean bluff on California’s central coast.
Environmentalists had pressed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for years to close Diablo, given its proximity to seismic faults in the earthquake-prone state.
Under the accord, PG&E has agreed not to seek relicensing for the plant, which supplies 9 percent of the state’s power. The deal will replace the plant’s production with solar and other forms of energy that don’t emit climate-changing greenhouse gases.
“The important thing is that we ultimately got to a shared point of view about the most appropriate and responsible path forward with respect to Diablo Canyon, and how best to support the state’s energy vision,” the utility’s leader, Tony Early, said in a statement.
The move ends a power source once predicted to be necessary to meet the growing energy needs of the nation’s most populous state.
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein has issued the following statement on the closing:
“PG&E’s plan to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and transition to renewable energy is welcome news.
“With this announcement, all four of California’s large nuclear plants are either already decommissioned or will be in the coming years. I’m fully supportive of PG&E’s plan to shut down both of Diablo Canyon’s reactors by 2025, and I’m especially pleased to see an agreement between environmental groups and those who represent the plant’s employees.
“I look forward to working with PG&E to find safe storage for the leftover nuclear waste and prepare it for disposal.”