PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

PG&E Chapter 11 Update

Nuclear Operations

PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant (Diablo Canyon) generates enough carbon-free energy to meet the needs of more than 3 million Californians in a safe, clean, affordable and reliable way.

Our Approach

We remain strongly committed to the highest levels of safety, performance and security at Diablo Canyon. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) latest annual assessment of the facility places Diablo Canyon among the highest-performing plants in the U.S. nuclear industry. This reflects the hard work and dedication of our employees and our commitment to meeting PG&E’s and the NRC’s high performance standards.

Demonstrating Earthquake, Flooding and Tsunami Safety

Extensive analyses performed at the direction of the NRC continue to show that Diablo Canyon can safely withstand extreme natural events, including potential earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding. The analyses used the latest regulatory guidance, scientific methods and models, site-specific information and independent expertise to re-evaluate the impacts that earthquakes, large waves and flooding could have on the facility. The updated findings represent the culmination of years of study and analysis, and further confirm the safety of the plant’s design.

Spent Fuel Storage

At both Diablo Canyon and PG&E’s former nuclear unit at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant, PG&E safely stores spent fuel in on-site dry cask storage systems approved and licensed by the NRC. Diablo Canyon also safely and securely stores spent fuel in a wet storage facility. This on-site storage system is safely used at nuclear power plants around the world. These two on-site interim storage solutions are federally monitored and follow industry best standards to ensure that they are safe and effective.

Water Management

PG&E actively manages the water used in the electric generation process in accordance with the water discharge limit set by Diablo Canyon’s Clean Water Act permit.

2018 Milestones

In 2018, Unit 2 at Diablo Canyon underwent a safe and successful refueling and maintenance outage. PG&E also continued with the decommissioning of the former nuclear unit at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant, where final site restoration and remediation efforts are in the final phase.

Measuring Progress

Diablo Canyon continues to demonstrate high operational performance as gauged by its plant capacity factor, a measure of generation reliability. During 2018, Diablo Canyon achieved a capacity factor of 93 percent.

Nuclear Power Plant Performance
Average Capacity Factor Footnote 1
2016 96%
2017 91%
2018 93%
  • 1. Refers to the ratio of the actual output of the plant relative to the output if the plant had operated at full capacity for the year.1