California Energy Commission Analysis Determines Diablo Canyon Extension “Prudent” to Ensure Reliability

(February 9, 2023) – A new analysis released today by the California Energy Commission (CEC) found that continuing to pursue an extension of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCNPP) would be prudent given grid reliability risks projected to persist in California over the course of the next decade. According to the analysis, California’s energy grid will continue to face significant reliability risks through 2030 under severe weather conditions that strained the state’s grid in 2020 and 2022. 

In response to the analysis, Carbon Free California issued the following statement:

“As California’s largest source of always-available, carbon-free energy, Diablo Canyon is vital to keeping the lights on for California homes and businesses without compromising air quality and progress toward the state’s climate goals. Last year, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 846 to extend the life of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and support a clean, reliable and affordable power supply for all Californians.”

Next Steps for Diablo Canyon:

In accordance with Senate Bill 846, the CEC and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are conducting thorough analyses on factors including cost and reliability to affirm the need for Diablo Canyon and inform the CPUC’s determination on the plant’s extension, which is expected by the end of 2023. At the federal level, the next step is for Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to file an application later this year to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to renew and extend Diablo Canyon’s operating license.   NRC rules and regulations provide that the Commission may allow Diablo Canyon to continue operating while the NRC conducts its relicensing review.

About Carbon Free California

Carbon Free California is funded by California-based entrepreneurs and brings together leaders from business, the environmental community, labor and the technology sector to focus on creating a pathway to a carbon-free future and securing the clean, reliable energy needed to power the world’s fifth-largest economy. Carbon Free California believes the state must pursue all forms of emission-free energy to address the climate crisis and achieve our urgent emission reduction goals. Extending the operation of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will bolster the grid with reliable carbon-free energy and enable the state to transition to increasing shares of wind and solar power, while avoiding disruptive and costly rolling blackouts. Carbon Free California receives no funding from utility or nuclear industry interests. 

Learn more at or follow us on Twitter at @carbonfreeca.