California Gazette

Can a Lawsuit Close California’s Last Nuclear Plant?

As California continues to shift towards renewable energy sources, environmentalists have been pushing for the closure of the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant. A lawsuit has been filed by the Friends of the Earth (FOE) and other advocacy groups that argue that California’s last nuclear power plant should be shut down as soon as possible. 

This article will explore the details of the lawsuit and what it could mean for the future of California’s energy.

Background on California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant

California’s last nuclear power plant, the Diablo Canyon facility, has been operating since 1984 and is located along the California coast near San Luis Obispo. It is the state’s only nuclear power plant and one of the nation’s largest nuclear power plants. 

It is owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and produces enough electricity to power about 1.6 million homes.

The Power Plant’s Problems

The Diablo Canyon facility has been subject to numerous safety and environmental issues. In 2009, a major earthquake fault was discovered near the plant, and PG&E was ordered to conduct a seismic assessment and improve the facility.

In 2016, the plant’s two reactors were shut down after a leak in the cooling system was discovered. In 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) identified several safety issues that needed to be addressed, and PG&E agreed to a plan to address them.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit, filed in 2018 by the NRDC, FOE, and other environmental advocacy groups, claims that the Diablo Canyon facility poses a risk to public health and safety. The suit argues that the plant needs to be updated and should be closed soon. 

The groups are calling for the NRC to revoke the plant’s operating license and for PG&E to shut down the facility by 2025. In addition, the suit is calling for PG&E to invest in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programs to replace the power generated by the plant.

Arguments Against the Lawsuit

Opponents of the lawsuit argue that the Diablo Canyon facility is safe and that closing it would cause California to lose an essential energy source. They also note that the plant provides jobs for the local community and that closing it could harm the local economy. 

Finally, they argue that the lawsuit is optional because PG&E is in the process of making the required safety improvements.

The Importance of this Lawsuit

The lawsuit against Diablo Canyon is a critical case for environmental advocacy groups as it could set an important precedent for the future of nuclear power in the US. 

If the lawsuit is successful and the plant is closed, it will be a major victory for environmental groups and could lead to similar lawsuits being filed against other outdated nuclear power plants across the country. 

It could also lead to more investment in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programs, which would help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and fight climate change. Additionally, if the plant is closed, it could help protect public health and safety by reducing the risk of a nuclear disaster.


The lawsuit to close California’s last nuclear power plant is an essential issue for the state’s energy future. The lawsuit argues that the plant is outdated and poses a risk to public health and safety and should be closed as soon as possible. 

Opponents of the suit claim that the plant is safe and that closing it would have a negative impact on the local economy. It remains to be seen how the lawsuit will be resolved and the future of the Diablo Canyon facility.

California Gazette is a publication that provides in-depth, accurate, and timely coverage of the issues and events that matter most to Californians. With a team of experienced journalists and a commitment to rigorous fact-checking, we strive to be the go-to source for reliable news and information about the Golden State. For California news and trends, check out our other articles!

Share this article


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of California Gazette.