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Nuclear regulatory Commission rejects expert advice on California earthquake danger

NRC-jpgRegulators reject call for nuke plant shutdown By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press September 10, 2014 LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday rejected a senior federal expert’s recommendation to shut down California’s last operating nuclear power plant until the agency can determine whether its twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults……..

Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon’s lead NRC inspector, said in a confidential report disclosed by The Associated Press last month that no one knows whether the plant’s equipment can withstand strong shaking from those faults — the potential for which was realized decades after the facility was built.

Peck, now a senior reactor instructor for the NRC in Tennessee, argued the NRC is not applying safety rules it set out for the plant’s operation……..The agency’s ruling was issued on the same day that PG&E released hundreds of pages of scientific research that found a fault 650 yards from the reactors, known as the Shoreline, is twice as long as initially believed, making it capable of producing potentially stronger earthquakes, and intersections between some faults in the region could create larger earthquakes than previously considered. PG&E said in a statement that the plant remains seismically safe and able to withstand the largest potential earthquakes in the area.

Former California Sen. Sam Blakeslee, a geophysicist who has previously raised seismic concerns at Diablo, said “it’s premature to declare the plant is safe in light of this new information.”…….http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Regulators-reject-call-for-nuke-plant-shutdown-5746362.php

September 15, 2014 - Posted by | safety, USA

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