NRC rejects call to close Diablo Canyon

September 11, 2014
Diablo Canyon

Diablo Canyon

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejected the recommendation Wednesday of a former federal investigator who called for the closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant until the agency determines whether the plant can withstand high magnitude earthquakes caused by nearby faults. [ABC News]

In July 2013, Michael Peck, the former lead NRC inspector at Diablo Canyon, stated in a confidential document that it is unsafe to continue allowing the nuclear plant to operate without further evaluating potential seismic activity in the area. Peck’s appeal to the NRC became public last month.

On Wednesday, the NRC released its decision on the concerns raised by Peck, who now works for the agency as a senior reactor instructor in Tennessee. The NRC concluded that there is no immediate or significant safety concern at Diablo Canyon.

Also on Wednesday, PG&E released a multi-year study of the earthquake faults surrounding Diablo Canyon. The study found that one of the faults, the Shorline, is twice as long as initially believed and contains intersections with other faults in the region, making it capable of creating larger earthquakes than previously considered.

Still, PG&E concluded that the plant is safe and capable of withstanding the largest potential earthquakes in the area.

Former State Sen. San Blakeslee, a geophysicist who has called for further testing of seismic potential in the area, said despite the new information, it remains premature to deem Diablo Canyon safe.


If Former State Sen. San Blakeslee is a geophysicist (this article) and Brucie Gibson is a seismologist (a Trib article) then I’m a phrenologist because I occasionally drink a beer.

Diablo is safe, overstudied if you ask me, and shutting down San Onofre because of a goofed radiator change-out was insane.


My gut feeling on the whole issue is that Diablo is probably safe enough. However, I don’t have the expertise to know for sure. That is supposed to be the job of the NRC but I have a strong suspicion that they are a “captive agency” — one dominated by people with too many close ties to the industry. Can this be changed? How?

Being more open to critics and taking their criticisms more seriously would help. Of course many (but not all) of those critics are too ignorant to make reasonable criticisms. When that happens, the NRC tends to use that as an excuse to ignore all criticisms which is not right either. As for PG&E, while I have no problems with the rank and file employees, San Bruno is proof that top management is not trustworthy.

Jorge Estrada

If warning sirens are required as a part of the evacuation plan, then what recent study for that plan has been certified by the NRC? The county has grown allot since the plant construction was approved while the major bottle neck remains the same. I’d like to beleive that all of this discussion is about a solution for safety yet the focus does not address the unmet evacuation needs.


“PG&E concluded that the plant is safe and capable of withstanding the largest potential earthquakes in the area.” Well, now ain’t that a surprise! Same old spin decade after decade. Just remember all the people they killed in San Bruno with the same head in sand attitude towards gas pipeline safety.


The environmental extremists should love nuclear power as it produce zero (0) CO2, so if you believe in Global Warming, it is a huge benefit.

Also, look at San Diego that now has threats of power outages, and price increases when they decided to shut down their NP plant. Another racket from the Left.


yes global warming is a vast conspiracy of climate scientists and the coal lobby funds the antinuclear rackest.


NRC,FDA,CDC…common denominator = $


Don’t forget MFP, same denominator……


Perhaps a better title would be “Top Seismologists Find Plant Safe.” As to Sam Blakeslee, who keeps mentioning his geophysicist’s degree, what do you want Sam? PG&E has spent something like $60,000,000 in this last go round collecting the most advanced seismic data set known to man on an area of the planet that was ALREADY the most studied. I guess you motive is clear when even a “scientist” cannot be convinced with data.


You do have to wonder what Mr. Blakeslee really wants when he didn’t say “it remains premature to deem Diablo Canyon “unsafe””.


The data didn’t have money attached to it for some of these scientists to believe,but those same scientists want us to believe that unseen smoke particles kill 1000’s of people a year here in Ca.

The wack jobs are not happy unless they are battling something for the cause,remove hydro electric dams,shut down MB power plant,stop Nuk power,I guess once we’ve done away with all forms of energy for making electricity and get back to using candles those same jerks will want to ban candle wax.