U.S. Department of Energy Confirms Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s Eligibility for Civil Nuclear Credit Program Funding
AVILA BEACH, Calif. — Today, the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed PG&E's Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) is eligible for federal funding through the Civil Nuclear Credit Program.
PG&E filed its application for federal funding on September 2, 2022, the same day California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 846 into law, seeking to extend operations at DCPP in San Luis Obispo County for five years beyond its current license expiration in 2025. The plant would be used to improve statewide energy system reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while additional renewable energy and carbon-free resources come online.
Last month, the state authorized a loan of up to $1.4 billion from the Department of Water Resources to PG&E to support extending operations at the plant. SB 846 further directed PG&E to pursue funds from DOE, and any other potentially available federal funds, to pay back the loan and lower costs for customers should the plant’s operating license be extended.
“This is another very positive step forward to extend the operating life of Diablo Canyon Power Plant to ensure electrical reliability for all Californians,” said PG&E Corporation Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe. “While there are key federal and state approvals remaining before us in this multi-year process, we remain focused on continuing to provide reliable, low-cost, carbon-free energy to the people of California, while safely operating one of the top performing plants in the country.”
PG&E has been conditionally awarded a total of approximately $1.1 billion from the DOE. Final award amounts will be determined following completion of each year of the award period, and amounts awarded will be based on actual costs.
“This is a critical step toward ensuring that our domestic nuclear fleet will continue providing reliable and affordable power to Americans as the nation’s largest source of clean electricity,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Nuclear energy will help us meet President Biden’s climate goals, and with these historic investments in clean energy, we can protect these facilities and the communities they serve.”
DCPP’s safe and reliable operations
PG&E is committed to the highest levels of safety, performance and security at DCPP. The plant has an excellent safe operating record and is subject to rigorous regulatory oversight, including with respect to seismic safety. To learn more, click here. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) current assessment places DCPP among the highest performing plants in the nation and continues to find the facility is operating safely and meeting industry-established safety and performance objectives. All plant operations will continue to be overseen and monitored by the NRC, as well as several other independent industry and external oversight entities.
DCPP can generate 2,200 megawatts of baseload electricity, and currently provides approximately 17% of California’s zero-carbon electricity supply and 8.6% of the state’s total electricity supply.
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