"California Reactors Win Exemption In Fight To Keep Running"

"LOS ANGELES — Government regulators Thursday granted California’s largest utility an unusual exemption that could allow the state’s last nuclear power plant to continue running after the expiration of its federal operating licenses, a key piece of a contentious proposal to keep the reactors producing electricity for years to come.

The twin-reactor Diablo Canyon plant is scheduled to shut down by 2025. But the federal exemption will permit operator Pacific Gas & Electric to keep producing power while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviews an expected application from the utility to extend the plant’s operating run by up to two decades.

PG&E senior vice president Paula Gerfen praised the decision as an important step for the company “to extend our operations beyond 2025 to improve statewide electric system reliability.”

Environmentalists said the NRC staff contorted its own rules in an attempt to keep the aging plant online in what amounted to an ominous sign for plant safety in a region crisscrossed by earthquake faults."

Michael R. Blood reports for the Associated Press March 2, 2023.

Source: AP, 03/03/2023