SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel held their first public meeting Wednesday in San Luis Obispo.
PG&E plans to shutter the nuclear power plant in the next decade and this was the community’s first glance at how that process will work.
Over 100 people applied to be a part of the panel, and it came down to 11. With about 30 people in attendance, this was the public’s first chance to meet the hand-selected group and understand their purpose.
Officials say they’ve got a long road ahead of them and this is just the first step.
Call it planning for the inevitable.
"We expect this to be a multi-decade effort. There’s going to be state approval that’s needed, federal approvals that are needed, permits that are going to be needed,” said Blair Jones, PG&E Spokesperson.
With the looming closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in 2025, the county is slated to take a $1 billion hit.
“That includes looking at potential future use, re-purposing of the site itself and of course the lands that surround Diablo Canyon,” said Jones.
Folks like Dena Bellman will serve as a liaison between PG&E and the community during the decommissioning process.
“Diablo is significant in our community and having this opportunity is, we need to take a vanish we need to take advantage of it,” said Bellman, a member of the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel.
Like many of her fellow panel members, Bellman has concerns about land use and spent fuel issues.
“There are some significant issues that we all have interest in and want to have input on as it will inform that report that PG& E needs to submit early next year,” said Bellman.
Jones says a cost analysis needs to be filed with the state by next spring.
Bellman’s colleagues on the panel emphasized the economic impact and environmental issues associated with the plant’s closure.
“A lot of it is about funding, a lot of it is about informing reports as to what the community wants and how we want to see this process work,” said Bellman.
PG&E says they are committed to operating safely at Diablo Canyon over the next seven years.
The panel plans to meet monthly, and public comment is encouraged along the way.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 27.