FOE sues over Diablo


As Common Dreams reports, “the environmental group Friends of the Earth on Tuesday sued Pacific Gas and Electric in a bid to block the California utility giant from breaching its contract to shutter the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant when the operating licenses for its two reactors expire in 2024 and 2025.

“Friends of the Earth (FOE) explained the reason for its lawsuit, which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court, in a statement Tuesday:

“‘In 2016, Friends of the Earth entered into a contract with PG&E to retire Diablo Canyon. This was in exchange for Friends of the Earth dropping a separate legal challenge over environmental and public safety concerns associated with the power plant’s continued operations. Diablo Canyon—California’s last remaining nuclear plant—is located in San Luis Obispo near at least three seismic fault lines, which puts the entire state at risk of a devastating accident. It also operates on an outdated cooling system that puts marine life and water quality at significant risk of harm.

“‘Friends of the Earth’s new lawsuit follows recent actions by PG&E that indicate an intent to breach the 2016 contract. These include applying to the U.S. Department of Energy for funding to aid Diablo’s extended operations and securing approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue operating Diablo Canyon beyond the expiration of current operating licenses while NRC considers PG&E’s forthcoming license renewal applications.'”

A Bay Area CBS news story also reported that the continued operation of Diablo Canyon is not yet a certainty. “It’s not clear if the reactors will continue operating beyond the expiration of their 2024 and 2025 licenses — and if so, for how long — since many regulatory milestones and unanswered questions remain,” the story said.

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