A deal that would get Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) out of bankruptcy will leave ownership and regulatory oversight of Diablo Canyon unchanged.

The deal leaves PG&E intact and the rates charged for electricity produced by Diablo Canyon under the regulation of the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission will continue to oversee safety and security at the plant.

The deal must be approved by PG&E’s creditors and board of directors, the bankruptcy judge and the PUC. It could be finalised by early 2004, said Diablo Canyon spokesman Jeff Lewis.

The deal is substantially different from the reorganisation plan PG&E proposed. Under that plan, the utility would have broken into several subsidiaries, one of which would own and operate the power plant. PG&E’s plan would also have shifted regulation of electric rates for the plant from the PUC to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a move opposed by state and county officials.