David Dodd 1:48 a.m., May 18
PG&E Ordered to Complete Seismic Studies, Same Sought for SCE/SDG&E
The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday dismissed a request from Pacific Gas & Electric to pass on its cost of relicensing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on the state’s central coast, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility reported yesterday. On Monday, the group also filed a brief seeking to block a similar move by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, who are also seeking to relicense the San Onofre plant for 20 years.
The main contention posed by the Alliance, and reasoning for the commission’s denial, centers around a lack of new seismic studies the utilities were ordered to conduct before relicensing. Such studies aren’t expected to be completed for Diablo Canyon until the end of 2015.
“PG&E has known all along what our state expected them to do, and has flaunted those orders, wasting time and money in the process,” says Rochelle Becker, executive director of the Alliance.
Last year, the Reader reported on new fault lines that have been discovered since the construction of San Onofre, some within a mile of the plant. In the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster this spring, the Alliance argues that such studies concerning the safety of the plant, which they had been pushing for long before the Japanese meltdown, become even more important.
Over 8.4 million people live within the 50-mile evacuation zone for which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires power generators to develop an emergency plan. Downtown San Diego is 45 miles from San Onofre's nuclear power plant.
Image of Diablo Canyon Power Plant from www.slocounty.ca.gov>