Bay Area Council Goes Nuclear
With California chasing ambitious climate goals and demand for clean energy skyrocketing, the importance of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which alone provides 9% of the state’s total electricity, is critical. To give energy leaders a more in-depth understanding of the crucial role Diablo Canyon serves in California’s energy portfolio, the Bay Area Council on Monday (Sept. 18) embarked on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the PG&E facility, which is located on an isolated and rugged stretch of coast just north of San Luis Obispo, to understand the operations, first-class safety measures, clean energy generation, and future potential of the facility.
The visit also highlighted the current debate over whether to extend the life of Diablo Canyon, which was scheduled for full decommissioning in August 2025 before Gov. Newsom last year signed legislation seeking to extend its operations by five years to provide clean, reliable energy as the state works to ramp up other non-carbon-based sources.
The tour was led by Council Executive Committee member Carla Peterman, who serves as Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and Chief Sustainability Officer for PG&E and also chairs the Council’s Energy Committee. Attendees began the day with a coastal excursion which allowed guests to observe Diablo Canyon’s ocean-facing facilities.
Once back on dry land, guests were given an overview of the powerplant operations and the importance of Diablo Canyon to California’s energy portfolio and carbon-neutral goals. They later experienced a crisis event simulation in PG&E’s training Control Room before lunch and Q&A with plant operators about how they are navigating the challenges of the plant’s planned decommissioning and operation extension. The tour concluded with a visit to the facility’s Protected Area and the plant’s turbine deck where our group watched the plant’s power generation in action. To engage in the Council’s energy policy work, please contact Policy Director Julian Lake.