How many billions? California’s nuclear plant extension gets more scrutiny.

By Wes Venteicher | 06/14/2024 06:57 AM EDT

Environmental groups are calling attention to Diablo Canyon’s costs amid a $400 million budget fight.

SACRAMENTO, California — Environmental advocates who want to shut down California’s last nuclear power plant are spotlighting its operating costs amid a $400 million budget fight over its future.

What happened: Environmental Working Group told reporters Thursday that the estimated cost of extending Diablo Canyon Power Plant through 2030 — as Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature ordered two years ago — has ballooned to nearly $12 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $8.1 billion.

Pacific Gas and Electric, the plant’s owner, called that figure “false,” saying it wrongly includes costs that aren’t attributable to the extension, and that the cost remains roughly the same as it did last year.


Suzanne Hosn, a PG&E spokesperson, said the utility estimates it will cost about $8.3 billion — of which $7.1 billion would be covered by ratepayers — to keep the plant going through 2030.