Blakeslee blasts PG&E for disregarding risk at Diablo

March 22, 2011

Sam Blakeslee – photo by Dennis Eamon Young

Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), a geophysicist with a doctorate in earthquake studies, asked PG&E on Monday to suspend its efforts to renew licenses until it has completed earthquake studies suggested by the California Energy Commission. [BayCitizen]

PG&E is seeking to extend operations of the two nuclear reactors by 20 years, until 2044 and 2045.

Blakeslee cited the recent tragedies in Japan and San Bruno as evidence more research is needed.

“I’m concerned mostly about this culture of disregard of risk and the lack of concern regarding uncertainty,” Blakeslee said during the hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness Response and Recovery

Even so, Steve David, director of site services at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, replied when asked if PG&E would voluntarily suspend permitting efforts, “At this time, I don’t have that information.”

In response, Blakeslee said he would again draft legislation to require the company to delay permitting efforts until the seismic risks are better understood.

A similar bill Blakeslee authored was unanimously approved by the Legislature before being vetoed in 2009 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“It’s a culture that’s become endemic in PG&E and it has resulted in loss of life and potentially putting my constituents in a place of great risk,” Blakeslee said.


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29 Comments

  1. hotdog says:

    This is a must see,
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/42222780#42222780

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      Wow, I missed that show! Rachel has had some great coverage on nuclear energy and it’s issues. She’s really broken it down and made it easy to understand. Thanks dog, great link!

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • knowitall says:

      Why is that a must see? It’s not very accurate. PG&E has been doing seismic mapping for years. How do you think the Shoreline fault was discovered? At no time were emergency cooling pumps disabled. Blakeslee did not call to have Diablo’s license suspended. He wants to suspend the license extension process. Dose she really believe that Diablo Canyon is unsafe because it’s named Diablo Canyon?

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • hotdog says:

        I’ve always thought the name was appropriate, a nuke called the ‘Devil’.
        It surely is, was proposed by a corporate monster and approved by political hacks with no regard for the public. Anyone with a shred of sense and vision would have actively pursued alternative energy 40 years ago instead of this costly and dangerous technology clearly beyond our ability to control. And without a doubt all the energy wasters out there (most of us) have a clear hand in this debate, for it is those folks who have created the need for so much energy producing facilities. Conservation is the cheapest energy yet most people treat it like a worthless commodity. Yup, most who are reading this are probably guilty of wasting energy. Clean up your act to save the planet.
        Can’t wait to see all those negative hits coming from the brats who can’t stand to be challenged.

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        It certainly is accurate. Who cares who found the fault(s)? That makes no difference, there are faults there and that’s what counts.

        You are wrong about the pumps. Read pages 16 and 17:
        http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nuclear_power/nrc-2010-full-report.pdf
        This information was also in several newspapers.

        As far as the license suspension, basically it amounts to the same thing.

        Rachel M. is a very intelligent woman. She wasn’t being literal, she knows that the name Diablo doesn’t make the plant unsafe. She was simply pointing out the irony.

        I’m not trying to be mean but you might want to change your name.

        (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
        • knowitall says:

          She said since 2008 PG&E has not done seismic mapping. That statement was blatantly false. Pointing out that PG&E discovered the fault showed that they in fact had been doing seismic mapping.

          DC has 6 emergency core cooling pumps. 4 of them are constantly lines up to a very large water source ready to inject into the core. During an accident, all 6 are running and aligned to this water source. When that water source starts running low, 2 pumps turn off automatically and then valves are repositioned to put those pumps into a recirculation mode. When that is complete, the suction of the 4 remaining pumps are aligned to the pumps in recirc. Operator have 30 minutes to complete this action before the water source is completely depleted by the other 4 pumps which continue to inject . The valves that get realigned are interlocked with each other so simplistically, you can’t open one with out closing another. As the report stated, the problem valves would be manually operated. Keep in mind that this situation only applies to a large loss of coolant accident.

          Pumps being disabled. Again, blatantly false.

          Basically it amounts to the same thing? One way says I don’t believe the plant is safe to continue operations and the others says I want to hold off on extending the license until the seismic study is complete. Clearly, two very different meanings.

          She was again, completely wrong. She should work harder on the facts and less on being funny.

          (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
          • hotdog says:

            Well, you certainly seen to know your stuff on the pumps etc. Even the most ardent foe of Diablo hopes there will never be a serious accident, the ‘gloating’ factor doesn’t come close to the fear of having to leave our homes or risk our health for a few electrons. I wish we had been way smarter a long time ago to reduce, or eliminate, the need for these large plants and had gone with solar and other technologies.

            (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
          • Typoqueen says:

            Well, we could go back and forth on what’s gone wrong out there but there’s no point of that because you seem to miss her main point. ‘Human error’ is the point. Time and time again there have been problems, it might be stuck valves or the blue prints that were read backwards which ended up costing ‘billions’. As long as there is a chance of human error then there’s too much at risk to allow this to go on. This technology is beyond our capability to have complete control of it. What if PG&E goes under in 100 years, what will happen to the waste? No one has answered that, where do we find a safe way to forever store the spent fuel? We don’t have complete control in coal mines but if something goes wrong it doesn’t effect the planet for 25,000+ years. If solar panels kill some kangaroo rats it won’t effect countries on the other side of the earth and cause birth defects or cancer for thousands of people for years and years to come. Let me guess, you are one of those that believe that large doses of radiation is good for us. Well, I don’t agree and the majority of the scientific community dosn’t agree. I would rather go with science than with nuke PR persons. I have a right to keep my family safe from those large doses of radiation.

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
            • knowitall says:

              I didn’t miss her point. It’s pretty clear. I was not debating the virtues of nuclear power. I was pointing out that she is spreading lies and because of your lack of objectivity, you ate them right up. Just goes to show that just because it’s on the news doesn’t make it true.

              (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
              • Typoqueen says:

                No lies at all, everything she said is true. Look it up it’s all in black and white.

                (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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