Rep. Salud Carbajal asked the Nuclear Regulatory Comission on Tuesday how Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s bankruptcy announcement will affect plans to decommission the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
Mr. Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, sent a letter to NRC Chairwoman Kristine Svinicki asking for an overview of the actions taken to secure funds for the project and whether the planned decommissioning window from 2024 to 2025 is still on schedule.
The nuclear plant is located in San Luis Obispo County and houses two nuclear reactors.
“In light of PG&E’s announcement today, I’m requesting an update from the NRC on how this development will affect their approach to overseeing the decommissioning of the facility,” Mr. Carbajal said in a statement.
“The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant continues to be an important asset for our community in the Central Coast of California. Many of my constituents are deeply concerned about any impacts a bankruptcy could have on the safe operations of the plant and current decommissioning plans,” he said.
PG&E is declaring bankruptcy as it faces millions in liabilities stemming from last year’s devastating wildfires in Northern California. The company has previously said that it does not expect the bankruptcy to impact day-to-day operations at the local plant, nor will it impact the ongoing decommissioning plans.
Earlier this month, NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said on-site inspectors are closely monitoring PG&E’s safety, and “no significant impacts have been observed to date.”
Mr. Dricks noted that other utility companies around the country have gone through bankruptcy proceedings — including PG&E itself in 2001 — with no safety problems.
He did not expect any with Diablo Canyon.
“While it is not common and will be closely monitored and inspected by the NRC, it is not unprecedented,” he wrote. “The NRC has established processes and programs in place to inspect licensees as they move through the bankruptcy process and ensure that adequate public safety is maintained.”
Tribune News Service contributed to this report.