The commission plans to hold a public meeting in California next month to discuss the commission’s role and actions taken regarding seismic issues. Congressmembers Bob Filner of San Diego and Lois Capps of Santa Barbara have called on the commission to cooperate with state agencies in the relicensing process. “We specifically ask the NRC to collaborate with our state’s regulatory agencies and create a joint panel to review — upon their completion — the seismic studies requested of the utility by our state regulators and legislature,” their letter reads.
While the state’s Energy Commission can’t force PG&E to complete seismic studies before it renews Diablo Canyon’s license, the state does have some leverage. To pay for license renewal, an estimated $85 million, PG&E must gain the approval of the state Public Utilities Commission for recovery of funds. (Whom are they recovering the funds from? California ratepayers.) The state agency has not yet approved PG&E’s request.
Becker says that San Onofre’s operator, SoCal Edison, has been following PG&E’s progress. Although SoCal Edison’s July 26 filing with the Public Utilities Commission mentions funding for license renewal, the filing is primarily concerned with funding for seismic studies. The filing states that seismic projects at San Onofre will commence in 2012.