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Environment

State Commission Grants Lease Extensions To Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, Blocking Shutdown

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The State Lands Commission unanimously approved renewal of some key leases for state land necessary for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant’s continued operation.

The leases needed for the plant’s water intake, and cooling discharge channels were set to expire in 2018, and 2019. Without those leases, it could have forced the early shutdown of the Central Coast facility, which is now planned to close by 2025. PG and E developed a plan with environmental and labor groups to permanently close the plant by 2025.

Some say the nine years allowed under the plan is needed for an orderly shutdown of the facility, as well as to plan for replacement green power.

Others have been arguing that the shutdown needs to happen much sooner, citing seismic safety concerns as well as impacts from the water releases from the plant.

The main hearing took place in Sacramento, but dozens of people testified remotely from a satellite site set up in Morro Bay. The commission voted 3-0 to adopt staff recommendations to approve the lease extensions.

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