Diablo Canyon License Renewal Delayed
June 12, 2011
After insisting in the wake of the Fukushima Daichii nuclear disaster in Japan that existing processes and ongoing seismic studies provided sufficient safety measures at Diablo Canyon, Pacific Gas & Electric requested in April that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission delay the processing of its application for an operating license renewal at its San Luis Obispo nuclear power plant.
Now, the Commission has accepted the request, and in a response to PG&E released last week, set forth stipulations for the delay, reflecting requests by State Senator Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), who is also trained as a seismologist. Blakeslee has stated a need for better seismic data, since two faults have been discovered within five miles of Diablo Canyon, the most recent in 2008. PG&E has made no adjustments to procedures or design since the faults were discovered.
Going forward, the Commission will require PG&E to submit monthly reports "specifying its current best estimate" of dates it expects to complete 3-D seismic mapping as requested by Blakeslee and publication of a report addressing concerns raised in the mapping process.
PG&E's existing operating licenses for the 2300-megawatt plant expire in 2024 and 2025.