The impending closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant in 2025 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
That opportunity? To transform the existing facilities and infrastructure – plus 12,000 acres of pristine land and 14 miles of unspoiled coastline – into an attractive mix of conservation, sustainable eco-tourism, renewable energy, water resilience and cutting-edge research and development. We must seize this brief window to transform the loss of 1,500 high-wage jobs and 1,900 contractor jobs into a catalyst for economic opportunity.
We must also ensure that the massive decommissioning project proceeds with maximum safety and efficiency, prioritizing the use of local labor and businesses while honoring the legacy of the yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash. With decisions being made now and into the near future, we must work urgently and collaboratively to pursue the best long-term interests for the region and the state.
A new partnership on advancing the community’s interests through decommissioning and re-use was announced March 5, bringing together diverse stakeholders to shape Diablo’s next chapter of innovation and conservation.
“The future of Diablo Canyon represents a gateway to the new frontier of the green economy in renewable energy and blue economy in aquaculture.”
“Through investments and incentives, we can attract new businesses that create good-paying jobs and develop programs with the potential to produce highly skilled quality careers, all while setting us on a path toward a more sustainable future.”
“We have a unique opportunity to plan for the future of the Central Coast, including seeing through the safe and effective decommissioning of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the implementation of new, renewable energy projects to address the climate change crisis, and to ensure the conservation of and sustainable public access to the Diablo Canyon Lands. I’m happy to be a part of this once-in-a-generation effort.”
“By coming together as a community with the shared objectives of determining the best reuse of the land, we can work to ensure that the interests of San Luis Obispo County and our residents are fully represented.”
“This place can be the ideal 21st-century model of energy innovation and energy generation. Preserving the industrial footprint on Parcel P offers the opportunity for San Luis Obispo County to carry on its 100 years-plus tradition of being an energy-exporting county.”
“We have a unique opportunity to capture this moment and make sure that tax dollar revenue stays here where it belongs.”
“The Pecho Coast is a remarkable and unique part of our county. We believe that the reuse of the plant site can successfully integrate and celebrate the surrounding landscape.”
“We welcome the opportunity to participate in a community process where our culture, traditions and ancestral connection to the Pecho Coast can guide the future of our homelands.”
Advocate For Decommissioning
Safe and immediate decommissioning is a top priority in order to stave off a deleterious alternative of simply shuttering the plant for up to 60 years. This requires advocating to state and federal regulators for the safe termination of operations and responsible storage of spent nuclear fuel. Where possible, this work should utilize the highly trained Central Coast-based employees and contract workers who have maintained the site for decades.
Create Governing Entity
Create a governing entity for stewardship and future land use that is independent and dedicated. Multi-stakeholder oversight of decommissioning and reuse will be required for at least the next two decades. This entity (or entities) would ensure the community’s future is in the community’s hands, with the opportunity to champion our interests and values, and should support a multitude of uses over time.
Attract New Partners
Attract research and development partners. Opportunities for education and innovation in renewable energy development, energy storage, water resiliency, aquaculture and other technology could flourish through collaboration with a national lab, the California State University system and the University of California.
Facilitate and/or support land stewardship. Diablo Canyon lands should be conserved and opened to public access through an appropriate funding, maintenance and management structure to ensure their highest and best use, including preservation of pristine areas, public trails and opportunities for eco-tourism.
STAKEHOLDERS NEEDED AT THE TABLE:
- Pacific Gas & Electric
- California Public Utilities Commission
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- California Coastal Commission
- California State Lands Commission
- 17th Senate District
- 35th Assembly
- 24th Congressional District
- County of San Luis Obispo
- Cal Poly
- Research institutions
- PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel
- Economic development and community organizations
- Visit SLO CAL
- Environmental organizations
- Tribal representatives
- California Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz)
- Local labor unions
METRICS WE WILL USE TO TRACK SUCCESS
- Dollars brought into region to support R&D and reuse
- Decommissioning dollars spent locally
- Local decommissioning jobs created
- Acres conserved for public benefit