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At a meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission tomorrow morning in San Francisco, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison will request permission to bill their ratepayers $64 million for seismic studies. The reports will concern the safety of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which sits near several fault lines. Both companies are stake holders in the plant.

The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, a nuclear power watchdog group, questions the price tag the utilities have put on the studies, which are required as part of an attempt to extend the license to operate San Onofre beyond its current expiration in 2022. Alliance Executive Director Rochelle Becker points out that “PG&E requested only $17 million for their seismic studies at Diablo Canyon. We need to see the justification for SCE’s nearly 400 percent increase in costs.” Diablo Canyon is the other operational nuclear plant in California, which is going through the same re-licensing procedure.

The recent Fukushima disaster has brought the issue of earthquake safety near nuclear plants into the spotlight. The Alliance, working to keep awareness of the dangers associated with nuclear power high, is distributing evacuation route warning signs for residents within a 10-20 mile radius of the plant to post. They are also available to individuals who live near proposed transportation routes to move nuclear waste off the San Onofre site.

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Visduh July 6, 2011 @ 3:08 p.m.

Sixty-four million dollars? Sixty-four million dollars?? Sixty-four million dollars for a seismic study??? They should be able to study the entire SD county coastline and the Orange County coastline for that much.

Hey, we were told that the San Onofre plant was on a geologically inactive site, and not to worry, and yadda, yadda, yadda. Now they want a platinum-plated study and there can be only one reason for that: they're not so sure about the safety after all. But what's another sixty-plus million added to the rate base? The locals will never notice it in their electric bills.


Twister July 7, 2011 @ 12:55 a.m.

It's that Giant Sucking Sound again.

What would that buy in seismic retrofits? We don' need no stinkin' study; we KNOW where the faults are (or should), and we should know the design standard (a good computer program could analyze how much that standard has eroded). Then just apply the precautionary principle.

But the problem might or might not be a 7.7 at the site; it might be the "Big One" on the San Andreas, say a 9.0 that would send a strong wave through LA and other low-lying areas and places built on alluvium. Remember that the scale is not linear (this is a big mistake on the part of seismologists--the public, not to mention a lot of "educated" people just don't GET IT!


I Am Stardirt July 7, 2011 @ 7:15 a.m.

Funny I hear that sucking sound in my sleep now.


SurfPuppy619 July 7, 2011 @ 9:53 p.m.

Remember that the scale is not linear (this is a big mistake on the part of seismologists--the public, not to mention a lot of "educated" people just don't GET IT!

Very true, the difference between a 6.0 and a 7.0 is 3200% more.


Founder July 8, 2011 @ 9:07 a.m.

Great Factual Post!

Most folks don't know the difference!

Think shaken not stirred vs. Having to pick yourself off the ground (along with all the stuff take used to be hanging on your walls)...



tomjohnston July 8, 2011 @ 12:03 p.m.

The richter scale is a logarithmic scale, a base 10 logarithmic scale in this case. That means there is a tenfold difference in measured strenght for each whole magnitude of incresae. A 4.0 is 10 times stronger than a 3.0, a 6.5 is 10 times stronger than a 5.5, ect. For one whole magnitude of increase, the amount of energy released is 31 times grater. Perhaps that's what you are refering to, surfpuppy619. I have lived in L. A. my whole life(except for college) and I have literally watched the scientists at CalTech try and explain the difference at least a hundred time. It's not the strenght of the quake that causes the damage, it's the energy released. But there are so many variables that can affect the type of damage.


Founder July 8, 2011 @ 8:55 a.m.

San Onofre 25 Mile Radius Fallout map First posted by NoMoreNukes2012 at 10:44 AM today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/04/nuclear-plant-evacuation-plans_n_889745.html

San Onofre 25 Mile Radius Fallout map http://www.nuclearpowerdanger.com/plume-maps/sanonofre-radiation-plume-map.php

The center of this Toxic Plume is located approximately 5 miles southeast of San Clemente, California. This plume is produced by 2 reactors located at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant site. The reactors that produce this plume have 2,150 Mega Watts of radiation generating power. There is a total of 1,241 tons of Highly Toxic Radioactive spent fuel stored at this Nuclear Power Plant. The heavy vibrations caused by the enormous Radiation Producing Machines known as Nuclear Power Plants cracks in holding tanks and pools and breaks in welds on pipes carrying Radioactive Materials. The communities around the San Onofre Radiation Producing Machine found this out the hard way. When the Radioactive Debris from the demolition of Unit 1 was cleared away it revealed Radioactive Tritium contaminated soil under that unit. The level of contamination was up to 16.5 times the allowable levels. This unit probably leaked Radioactive Tritium into the local groundwater for most of its 25 plus years of troubled life.First posted by


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