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"We chart a new energy future by phasing out nuclear power here in California," Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, said prior to the 5-0 vote. "We agree the time has come."
The nuclear plant's operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, in 2016 announced an agreement with a collection of environmental and labor groups to shut down the plant, which has delivered electricity since 1985.
The utility said Diablo Canyon would be uneconomical to run in the near future because of changes in California's power grid — specifically, the growth of renewable energy sources, increased energy efficiency measures and the migration of more customers from traditional utilities to new local suppliers under the state's community choice aggregation program.
Diablo Canyon had been the last remaining nuclear plant in the state, after the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station closed its doors in January 2012 following a small radiation leak from a steam generator.
Although California soon will have no nuclear plants in operation, there are 99 other nuclear reactors operating in the United States.
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