Aerial view of the Diablo Canyon, the only operational nuclear plant left in California. | Photo by George Rose / Getty Images

The Department of Energy extended a $1.1 billion lifeline to California’s embattled Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Diablo Canyon has become a major flashpoint over what kinds of energy are considered “clean” and what risks policymakers are willing to take to reach their climate goals.

The $1.1 billion in funding, announced yesterday, comes from a $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit program made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Congress passed last year. Diablo Canyon is the first power plant to be awarded credits from the program, which aims to extend the lives of reactors in danger of closing down.

The two nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon were slated to be decommissioned one by one in 2024 and 2025, when their operating…

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