The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), which oversees the Department of Water Resources, California Energy Commission, California Coastal Commission, and the California State Lands Commission, among other state agencies, is tasked with the bulk of implementing SB 846. CNRA is also the lead agency for development of a Land Conservation and Economic Development Plan, which is expected to be submitted to the state legislature in late April. The CNRA held a public informational listening session related to its actions under SB 846 in San Luis Obispo on February 10, 2023. CNRA has developed a website to track its SB 846 implementation progress, along with implementation of other clean-energy related bills: Transitioning to Clean Energy (ca.gov)
In January 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) opened a new rulemaking to implement SB 846 (R.23-01-007). SB 846 requires CPUC participation in joint-agency evaluations of the amount of time energy will be necessary from DCPP to meet statewide reliability goals, and the CPUC is responsible for approving any potential incremental costs related to continued operations that could be passed to ratepayers.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is participating in the evaluation of the ongoing need for power from DCPP and supporting ongoing studies about the plant’s operating safety. SB 846 is being implemented through its Energy System Reliability proceeding (Docket 21-ESR-01). On May 26, 2023, the CEC issued an SB 846-mandated report describing opportunities to shift electric demand from peak hours. It is available for download at Senate Bill 846 Load-Shift Goal Report | California Energy Commission.
The Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Commission (DCISC) is funded through PG&E ratepayer dollars and tasked with ensuring the DCPP operates safely. SB 846 requires the DCISC to review the seismic safety of the DCPP buildings and to update studies related to earthquake faults near the plant. The Committee holds public meetings and plant tours, conducts inspections and publishes an annual report on the safety of Diablo Canyon, assisted by technical consultants and legal counsel. Its last public meeting was in February 2023, and a recording and documentation from that meeting are available here: Last Public Meeting (Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee) (dcisc.org). Its next public meeting is scheduled for June 28-29, 2023, in Avila Beach, CA.
The Diablo Canyon Independent Peer Review Panel (IPRP) was developed in response to Assembly Bill 1632, which required the CEC to determine whether the state’s nuclear plants are potentially vulnerable to seismic or other major natural disruptions. The IPRP is overseen by the CPUC, which determines the costs of the DCPP’s safe operations. The IPRP is tasked with consulting with the DCISC about the safety of the plant’s operations during its existing license period and safety related issues associated with continued operations.
The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is expected to launch a new docket when PG&E files its new License Renewal Application, which is due no later than December 31, 2023. The new docket will be noticed in the Federal Register, and once it is available, it will be linked to on this website. The NRC is hosting an observational teleconference meeting about PG&E's expected license amendment applications for Units 1 and 2 on June 26, 2023. More details about the teleconference are available at main.jsp (nrc.gov).
The California State Water Resources Control Board in January 2023 issued a draft amendment to its Once-Through Cooling (OTC) Policy to extend DCPP’s compliance date to October 31, 2030. The Water Board regards this as a nondiscretionary change without regulatory effect to make the policy consistent with the compliance date extended by the Legislature in SB 846. More information about the draft changes in the OTC regulation is available at draft-amendment.docx (live.com).
The California State Lands Commission in June 2023 approved a lease extension authorizing PG&E to continue its existing use of public lands beneath the mean high-tide line for DCPP continued operations through October 31, 2030. Details on the lease extension can be found here: Staff Report 90 (windows.net)
The County of San Luis Obispo is actively engaged in the legislative and regulatory processes regarding the future of the DCPP. As the host community for the plant, the County welcomes working with federal, state, and local partners to plan for the future of the DCPP. The plant plays a significant role in the County’s economy and community, and we are working to ensure the community’s interests are represented in the safety, environmental, and other regulatory processes and decisions that lie ahead. Above all, the safety of the community remains the utmost priority of the County.
The County’s Planning and Building Department provides oversight of the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. It performs all land use planning functions, including permitting, environmental review and zoning enforcement. No action is needed from the Planning and Building Department to extend the operations of the DCPP. The DCPP has a current land use permit that covers its operations. That land use permit will cover the extended operations of the DCPP as long as PG&E’s proposed operations plan does not create any new processes that would trigger the need for a new land use permit. PG&E confirmed that it does not intend to create any new processes that would require a new land use permit.