Senator Boxer calls out NRC on Diablo Canyon safety

December 4, 2014

diabloAt a federal hearing in which both Rep. Lois Capps and former state sen. Sam Blakeslee testified, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer criticized the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its handling of safety concerns about Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which Boxer chairs, met Wednesday and discussed seismic threats to Diablo Canyon. Boxer was chairing the committee for the last time before ceding control to Republican Sen. James Inhofe, and the California Democrat used the opportunity to clash with NRC regulators.

Boxer accused the NRC of not doing enough to ensure safety in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. She particularly referenced the commission’s rejection of findings submitted by former Diablo Canyon Michael Peck, who questioned the seismic preparedness of the plant in a formal complaint he filed with the NRC.

Peck argued that PG&E should shut down Diablo Canyon until earthquake threats are properly addressed.

Capps testified at the hearing Wednesday in support of Boxer and said that not enough is known about the threats posed to the nuclear plants by nearby fault lines discovered after its construction. The Central Coast congresswoman called for an independent review of data gathered in a recent seismic study commissioned by PG&E.

Blakeslee, a geophysicist, said the NRC must reconsider its seismic standards for Diablo Canyon and alter its licensing process for the plant. He testified that each major study of hazard facing the plant has led to revelations of increased earthquake threat.

A PG&E spokesman responded, saying that utility company has conducted thorough studies of nearby faults. The PG&E studies conclude that the plant can withstand the potential earthquakes the faults could generate.

In a separate proceeding, the NRC notified PG&E earlier this week that it had tentatively downgraded Diablo Canyon’s safety designation due to unauthorized changes to the plants emergency warning protocol for notifying boats in the area. A PG&E plan adopted in 2005 does not properly account for notifying boaters, San Luis Obispo County and the U.S. Coast Guard in the event of a radioactive leak or other emergency, according to an NRC letter. [Tribune]

Francesca Bolognini

Holy CRAP people, what part of the fact that your lives are in extreme danger do you not understand? How completely programmed does one need to be to be able to turn a blind eye to the fact that this plant was built where it most deffinately should not have been and the picture is only becomming worse? This is absolutely NOT a PARTISAN ISSUE for you to get your banners and your “Yay for our team, boo for theirs” teeshirts out and completely ignore the facts. The NRC (which is an organization composed of individuals who serve as LOBBIESTS for the nuclear industry when they are not drawing a government salary) approved the plant and continue to turn a blind eye based on the theory that a catastrophy is “unlikely” rather than impossible, which is a violation of even their own overly liberal rules. And as for your buzz words about Obama, he has been supportive of nuclear power, so they make no sense what so ever.

The likelyhood of a complete disaster is ever increasing. Tide levels are rising worldwide at this time and that shifts the weight of the tectonic plates, causing ever increasing levels of magnitude for seismic events and tsunamis and their highly increased frequency. I am not making this up. Check for yourself by going to and match historical data to present levels of activity. Documented in the archives of our county publications are tsunamis in excess of 50′ – 100′, which occured in 1812, 1878, 1907, and 1913. Some of these were caused by offshore landslides, which would make sonic seismic testing a bad idea. With the San Andreas way over due for movement and connected to the faults under Diablo , what kind of a bet is it that none of the above could happen here?

And if you like to pretend everythihng is OK at the plant because we get cheap power from it, THINK (notice I do not say think again) about the fact that our power is more expensive that most of the rest of the country. The power generated at that plant goes elsewhere, while we take all the risk and when something goes wrong, WE PAY. The ones who benefit most are the Rothchilds, global mega-olligarcs, who are highly invested in nuclear and fossil fuels and pull strings in congress on BOTH sides f the isle..

What we are being told by PG&E is exactly the same propaganda that Tepco and the Japanese government said to the population of Fukushima before their event, which, although it is rarely if ever covered by our corporate controlled media, is ongoing and getting worst, with no actual control in sight.

Just no advantages here, unless you are drawing a pay check from PG&E. I would be willing to bet at least some of those who are slamming the government officials that are actually doing their job to protect us for a change are doing just that. So, go right ahead and show how much you “Dislike” the facts.

Francesca Bolognini

LOL. My point exactly!!!!!


Ah yes, more wisdom from Sen. Box of Rocks. That intellectual titan that even the S.F. Chronicle wouldn’t endorse. Another definition of what comes out of her mouth; flatulence in a tornado.


ruling elites continue voting for senator boxer


Another example of a liberal shakedown. I am embarrassed that our State re-elects this Joke of a senator.


Bull$hit. It is about time our elected officials started standing up to PG&E and the other special interests ignoring the dangers we face by living near the trouble-plagued Diablo Canyon nuclear bomb waiting to explode.


So big picture is that instead of one way of communicating an emergency to all the boaters on VHF Channel 16, there will now be a slightly different way to communicate an emergency to all the boaters on VHF Channel 16. Wow. Back to my nap.

the guy paso

You lost me at Senator Boxer


And what about the testimony of Sam Blakeslee? Is he just a R.I.N.O. because he isn’t toting the normal Republican Party line that private enterprise is always the best? Or does the fact that he is a geophysicist and actually understands a huge percentage of all the data being flung around make him some sort of “elite”?

Your partisanship really doesn’t contribute to learning facts, of being truly informed if you can’t see past the “D” or the “R” behind an elected official offering opinions about issues that affect all of us. Have you ever voted for a Democrat, for any position, at anytime in your voting history? I did vote for a Republican in the last two elections, so at least I do try to consider outside my normal comfort zone. How about you?

the guy paso

Thank you for your reply and the assumption that I am a R. Actually, I have no party affiliation but agree with you to see things with an open mind. That is the very reason that I tuned off at the mention of Boxer. She is a diehard, blinders-on Democrat, one that sees everything thru the eyes of Obama. Both she, Capps and Pelosi are interchangeable actors. You can have them.


There is a difference between the word “everything” and the words “most things” and that applies to Obama/Pelosi/Capps as well. I would love to see all of them out of office but not if it means replacing them with equally partisan, “diehard, binders-on” Republicans/Conservatives.

While, in my mind, they all have more negatives associated with them than positives, with the possible exception of Pelosi, they do occasionally try to do good as well. Those who automatically condemn everything they do without looking at the issues carefully, contribute to the polarization politics that makes independents like me reject both major parties on election days.


Sam is a liberal disguising himself as a R.I.N.O., actions speak louder than words.


Ding! Ding! Ding! Thanks for playing, “Who Isn’t Really A Republican because they don’t think like me”

So much for the “Big Tent” theory …


Sam is a Conservative. Maybe what is confusing to you is that he is a thinking conservative.

Jorge Estrada

So now the boats are a big deal? What about all of the people in SLO who will hear the sirens, listen to the media, freak out and then pile up trying to get over the Cuesta Grade? Where’s the management plan for that?

A controlled surface road for managing emergency vehicles would be a good start.


It took the NRC nine years to determine that an unauthorized modification was made to the notification plan – what the hell is the NRC staff doing from 9-5 every day?


Maybe they were working on important stuff.


“Important stuff”….like bending over for PG&E?