Although aging nuclear power plant safety issues are on the agenda for lawmakers and regulators, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a 20-year license extension for the three-reactor Palo Verde nuclear plant April 21. Invoking the nuclear disaster at the Japanese Fukushima plant, Don Brandt, Arizona Public Service chief executive officer stated,\u201d The NRC\u2019s approval of the license renewal is a mandate for even greater commitment to safety at Palo Verde.\u201d Brandt added that amortizing the plant over another two decades reduces annual electric rates by about $34 million. \u201cThe NRC has once again demonstrated that it will relicense any aging reactor--even one with the controversial operating history of Palo Verde,\u201d Rochelle Becker, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility executive director, stated. Two lawmakers who\u2019ve requested that the NRC reconsider its program for reactor license extensions would not comment. Neither Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), nor Rep. Lois Capps\u2019 offices would make a statement on extending the license during a time of political pressure. Senators Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) raised objections to the federal relicensing and earthquake evaluation process in formal letters to the commission. Capps held a phone conference with the NRC chair, and continues to make public statements focusing on the Diablo Canyon relicense effort. The NRC carried out \u201cspecial inspections\u201d in 2006 on the Palo Verde facility after a spate of compromising incidents. According to federal regulators, they included: -\tA steam generator leak in 2004; -\tLoss of offsite power in all units in 2004; -\t\u201cSignificant\u201d emergency cooling problems in all units in 2004; -\tEmergency core cooling that lead to a shut down of units 2 and 3 in 2005; and -\tHigh pipe vibrations in 2005. Despite this history, as well as state and federal lawmaker calls in the last two months to halt relicensing while considering \u201clessons learned\u201d from the Fukushima meltdowns, the NRC concluded \u201cthere were no safety concerns that would preclude license renewal.\u201d The 3,800 MW Palo Verde power plant is 15.8 percent owned by Southern California Edison; 5.7 percent by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power; and 5.9 percent by Southern California Public Power Authority. About 27 percent of its output is sent to Southern California. Arizona Public Service operates the plant. Licenses for the three units were set to expire in 2025, 2026, and 2027. In California, Pacific Gas & Electric, owner of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, is undergoing a 20-year license extension review. The utility requested that the NRC take into consideration new seismic studies to be completed at a cost of up to $16.75 million prior to issuing a license renewal. The commission is under no obligation to do so. Edison, the primary owner of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, has publicly stated that it too is set to seek a license extension. It has not made that formal request to federal regulators, but has stated it is seeking $64 million for new seismic studies from California regulators.