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KPBS Midday Edition

Newsom signs bill to extend life of California's last nuclear plant

This Monday Nov. 3, 2008 file photo shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach on California's central coast.
Michael A. Mariant
/
Associated Press
This Monday Nov. 3, 2008 file photo shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach on California's central coast.

On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant running until 2030, five years past its previous planned closure date.

The bill, SB-846, was similar to a proposal the governor put forth in August, but included some compromises.

"Newsom wanted to extend the life of the plant for 10 years, but legislators in both the (California) Senate and Assembly were opposed to that idea, and they compromised on five years," said Nadia Lopez, environment reporter with CalMatters. "The bill also includes stronger protections for ratepayers, and the loan would be allocated in smaller increments, so lawmakers have to approve spending in excess of $600 million."

Lopez joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about Diablo Canyon, as well as other climate action and energy legislation awaiting the governor's signature.

Newsom's timing signing the Diablo Canyon bill coincided with the state's energy grid emergency put in place last week as temperatures soared across California.

"He has repeatedly said that the state's inability to provide a consistent and reliable source of power, especially during these extreme heat events, are one factor that made him reconsider keeping the plant open," Lopez added.

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