Judge Recommends Cuts In Diablo Canyon Closure Reimbursement

A California state judge on Thursday concluded his arbitration of Pacific Gas & Electric Company's financial request concerning the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, coming up with a compromise figure that falls short of what the utility was seeking.

Diablo Canyon NPPPeter Allen, an administrative law judge for the California Public Utilities Commission trimmed the utility's request by $190 million, cutting the amount PG&E sought from ratepayers for the plant's closure from $360 million to about $170 million, the Associated Press reported.

The judge's plan next goes before the California Public Utilities Commission, which tends to honor the recommendations from arbitration.

On top of reducing customer responsibility by nearly $200 million, Allen's decision abdicated local governments of $85 million that PG&E requested, saying that it would take legislative authorization to do that.

PG&E agreed to close Diablo Canyon in a singular agreement with the state and environmental groups, which were pushing to have the state embrace renewable power sources but in a manner that guaranteed the Diablo Canyon plant remain profitable until it closed. The agreement called for the plant to close in 2025.

The utility issued a statement saying that it “strongly disagreed” with the judge's recommendation.

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