Earthquake Reawakens Concerns About California's Only Nuclear Plant

Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors are located in  Avila Beach, Calif. Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors are located in Avila Beach, Calif. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

After California's 6.0 earthquake this weekend, concerns have reemerged about a potentially neglected nuclear power plant. Experts are working to determine if the Diablo Canyon plant's "twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults." 

Inspector Michael Peck wrote in a report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is "not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant's operation." While Peck does not call the plant unsafe, he does note that proper research has not been done into impact of the earthquake faults. Though Peck filed the report in 2013, the Commission still has not ruled on the matter. They are now facing further pressure from the local community, as California's most recent earthquake was one of the strongest felt in the area in some time. 

The report was obtained by both the Associated Press and Friends of the Earth, an environmental group. Damon Moglen, a strategic adviser at Friends of the Earth, told The Hill, "We agree with him that Diablo Canyon is vulnerable to earthquakes and must be shut down immediately. Rather than the NRC keeping this a secret, there must be a thorough investigation with public hearings to determine whether these reactors can operate safely."

Pacific Gas and Electric Co, which operates Diablo Canyon, assured CBS News that the plant has been checked for earthquake dangers and "is seismically safe." This is the last nuclear plant in California. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.