Greens sue to block DOE loan for California nuclear plant

By Niina H. Farah, Jason Plautz | 04/04/2024 06:23 AM EDT

Friends of the Earth says the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it approved $1 billion for the facility.

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, California, is pictured in 2011. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

This story was update at 9:21 a.m. EDT.

An environmental group is launching a new legal fight to challenge the Department of Energy’s recent $1.1 billion lifeline to keep California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant from shutting down.

In a new lawsuit filed late Tuesday, Friends of the Earth claimed that the agency approved the loan in January to Pacific Gas & Electric — which owns and operates the plant — without completing an updated National Environmental Policy Act review of the effects of extending the aging facility’s life span.


The agency had adopted a more than 50-year-old environmental analysis by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, along with other outdated NEPA documents, to satisfy its obligations under the law instead of completing its own original or supplemental review, the environmental group said in its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.