Diablo Can Take the Shakes, Say New Reports

On the same day last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Pacific Gas & Electric issued reports concluding that the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is designed to withstand any ground shaking that the Shoreline Fault — discovered in 2008 — could deliver. The NRC report came in rebuttal to arguments made by Michael Peck, the NRC’s former resident inspector at Diablo Canyon, who insisted that the plant is not engineered to absorb such seismic activity. He also took exception to the methodology used by the NRC to find the nuclear plant conformed with its federal license. The author of the NRC report noted that “there is more than one appropriate evaluation method for evaluating the new seismic information.” In response, Peck said he “apparently” misapplied Diablo Canyon license requirements and operability standards, but added, “I’m still not 100 percent convinced they got it right.”

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