The Latest Chapter in Diablo Canyon’s Seismic Saga

Lara Uselding
Public Affairs Officer, Region IV
 
Scott Burnell
Public Affairs Officer, HQ
 

Today, the NRC is looking over a 1,400-page report produced by the owners of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant for California state officials who had asked for new seismic information about the plant.

Specifically, Pacific Gas & Electric produced the report to meet part of a 2006 California law, California Assembly Bill 1632. PG&E shared the report with the NRC as they’re required to do as part of the plant’s existing long-term seismic research program.

diabloEarlier research examined the Shoreline fault, just offshore of Diablo Canyon. Both PG&E and the NRC had previously concluded, in 2009 and 2012, the fault could only generate a quake weaker than one from the Hosgri fault, which Diablo Canyon is designed to safely withstand.

For the new report, PG&E performed state-of-the-art surveys of faults near the plant, including the Shoreline fault. The new report’s more detailed information and updated analysis indicates the Shoreline fault is both longer than previously thought and able to produce a slightly stronger earthquake.

As part of its NRC requirements, PG&E must assess the report’s impact on plant operations. NRC Resident Inspectors and Region IV staff experts have already looked at PG&E’s assessment and so far the information provides confidence the plant can keep the public safe after a seismic event.

While PG&E’s new seismic information adds detail about the faults in the plant’s immediate vicinity, the company’s evaluation claims an earthquake generated by movement on the Shoreline fault would not be as energetic as previous studies say a Hosgri-generated earthquake would be.

Just as with the earlier Shoreline fault reports, the NRC will thoroughly review the new information through our existing oversight methods. The agency will take whatever action is appropriate if our review questions PG&E’s conclusions.

PG&E will also use this new information as it re-evaluates its overall seismic hazard as part of the NRC’s response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. PG&E’s re-evaluation is due to the NRC in March 2015. The NRC remains committed to integrating new information into our understanding of safety at all reactors.

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

11 thoughts on “The Latest Chapter in Diablo Canyon’s Seismic Saga”

  1. October 6, 2014
    PG&E Subverted State Review of Diablo Canyon Seismic Studies and Squandered Ratepayer Money, According to A4NR Regulatory Filing
    The same attributes which have earned PG&E the distinction of being America’s only nuclear licensee facing criminal prosecution from the U.S. Department of Justice—including a leading charge of obstruction of justice—extend to the company’s conduct of the AB 1632 seismic studies.
    What the Alliance For Nuclear Responsibility (A4NR) filing demonstrates is PG&E’s attempt to subvert the oversight of a state sanctioned independent review panel, which PG&E successfully dodged with a trumpeted submittal of its “final” seismic study to the NRC before the peer review panel had even been shown the results. Notes A4NR attorney John Geesman, “Without independent review, this report is propaganda, not science.”
    AB 1632, sponsored by then Assembly Member Dr. Sam Blakeslee, mandated updated studies to determine if new hazards in the seismic setting of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant posed a risk that could impact the cost and reliability of the electric supply. In 2012, the CPUC authorized $64M in ratepayer funds for PG&E to do the study. At the same time, admitting that the CPUC had no internal staff to determine the validity of the study and its results, the CPUC established an Independent Peer Review Panel (IPRP) comprised of members including the California Geologic Survey, Coastal Commission, Energy Commission, Seismic Safety Commission, County of San Luis Obispo, and others.
    As A4NR’s filing reveals, internal PG&E emails detailing strategy and containment plans are clearly fearful that the IPRP could request a reinterpretation of the raw data bolstering PG&E’s claims of seismic safety at the reactor site. One document authored by Senior Vice President Ed Halpin baldly asserts:
    They could recommend additional processing methods be applied or other interpretation techniques be utilized. The IPRP make-up does not have members who are experienced in processing and interpretation, but they could seek an independent review by others
    Mitigation: When presenting the results to the IPRP PG&E will stress that advanced processing methods and interpretation techniques recommended by industry and academia experts were used. Make processed data available to IPRP before the technical reports are provided for their review. [emphasis added]
    The IPRP clearly had a different process in mind, as revealed in the peer review panel’s second public report:
    The IPRP expects that: • PG&E will provide its study plans and draft completed study findings to the IPRP
    for review. These include studies summarized in CPUC Decision 10-08-003 including off-shore, on-shore, and ocean bottom studies, and seismic studies recommended in the AB 1632 Report. [emphasis added]
    The IPRP was to hold quarterly public meetings—and did—all of which abruptly stopped in July of 2013 after the IPRP issued a report critical of PG&E’s methodologies and assumptions. Alarmingly, this email from PG&E government affairs representative Mark Krausse to PG&E’s regulatory relations staff paints a somewhat dire penalty for the persistent inquiries of the IPRP:
    When PG&E submits its final findings on its enhanced imaging (by May of 2014), do you believe we could get the IPRP “decommissioned?”
    And the director of PG&E’s geosciences department, Richard Klimczak replies: Mark, The final report is scheduled for June 2014, Rich
    At one point, the emails note PG&E intended to give the IPRP up to two months of advance review before releasing the study. Even that concession evaporated. As IPRP member and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Dr. Bruce Gibson opined in the SLO Tribune: “PG&E chose to finalize its entire report and release it to the public before it sought any comment from — or even contacted — the peer review panel. It appears to me that PG&E’s public relations staff advised them to get their story to the public before any detailed questions might be asked.”
    Among the other unanswered questions in the study:
    • Why did PG&E unilaterally abandon pursuit of offshore high energy underwater seismic surveys of Diablo after the preliminary rejection of its ill-prepared permit application before the Coastal Commission, when the CPUC had specified it first wanted to receive the recommendation of the IPRP?
    • Why didn’t PG&E notify the NRC immediately, as required, when early results revealed that the Shoreline fault could rupture jointly with the Hosgri fault, causing higher ground motions than previously reported to the NRC?
    A4NR’s legal brief concludes, “The incorrigible quality of PG&E’s efforts to evade regulatory compliance, and the culture rot that pervades so many of its interactions with the Commission, should give all Californians pause. Is this the type of institution that an advanced civilization entrusts with mankind’s single most dangerous non-military activity?”
    Adds A4NR Executive Director Rochelle Becker, “PG&E’s failure to conduct thorough seismic testing lead to over $4 billion in costly retrofits when the plant was built over three decades ago. The CPUC failed to implement adequate oversight then, and runs the risk of having history repeat itself in an even more costly fashion if they don’t permit the IPRP established under their purview to perform the tasks for which it was created.”
    Download the legal filing at: http://a4nr.org/?p=3297

  2. Dr. Peck and Dr. Budnitz on Diablo Canyon and AVP Arora International’s Response/Opinions

    Dr. Peck in his latest response to the NRC Panel & PG& E’s recent advanced seismic evaluation and research studies of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant controversial seismic design basis states, “The assumption that the HE was a facility SSE appeared to be in direct conflict with the PG&E facility license application (FSAR). I followed up with the Panel Chairman to better understand the basis for their assumption and my error. He directed me to an FASR Section. Interestingly, this section was included in the September 2013 revision following the NRC Project Manager’s direction to add the Shoreline fault to the FSAR. NRC Rules state that FSAR changes that potentially affect how the facility design basis are met, are required to be screened to determine if a license amendment is required. These changes were flagged by PG&E as exempt from this screening requirement based on “correspondence from the NRC.” From my view, the Panel appeared to use circular logic as basis for their underlying assumption and then used this assumption to support their conclusion.”

    Dr. Budnitz of DCPP Safety Committee states,” He does not understand where the DCPP seismic design basis is and how large the earthquake is, but all the safety structures, systems and components are designed and tested to withstand the largest earthquake.”

    Dr. Peck has cited the following examples in his DPO, which he believes at DCCP do not meet the NRC Operability and Seismic Regulations:
     Control Rod Drive Mechanism Bending Moments
     ECCS MOV’s & Instruments located at 88’ Containment Valve
     PG&E purchased mechanical components

    I will say that Dr. Peck and Dr. Budnitz have good points but their concerns and comments do not reflect short and long term nuclear safety concerns. Dr. Peck and Dr. Budnitz’s may have questions about the seismic design basis, but their questions raising more questions for the Public. Dr. Peck and Dr. Budnitz’s comments are providing more ammunition for the Critics to file an appeal before the NRC Commission/ASLB to hold public hearings to determine DCPP’s ability to meet facility design, licensing/operating/technical specification basis and NRC Regulations,

    NRC, PG&E need to explain to the Public, Critics, NRC ASLB, NRC ACRS and others:

    (1) DCPP has 3 emergency core cooling systems to cool the reactor in case of a LOCA or Main Steam Line break resulting from the largest earthquake. Each system has 2, 100-percent capacity trains. These system components are tested based on the scheduled frequency and declared functional, inoperable, operable, degraded or non-conforming based on the results of testing. Corrective actions and compensatory measures are implemented and operability determinations are conducted immediately to meet the requirements and safety significance of these components per plant procedures, facility design, licensing/operating/technical specification basis and NRC Regulations,

    (2) In addition, the plant can rely on fire protection and other cooling systems to provide cooling water to the core in event of a seismic bases potential nuclear accident,

    (3) As First Line of Defense, installation of redundant seismic monitoring and safety system designed to shut down the reactors promptly in the event of significant ground motion offers significant advantages to Plant Operators and early warning to residents in the LPZ and EPZ,

    (4). As the Second Line of Defense, Westinghouse’s Multiple Reactor Safety Systems have a proven 70 year history of Safe Operation minimizing the potential radiological consequences of any earthquake accident,

    (5) As the Third Line of Defense PG&E’s surveillance and maintenance procedures ensure that all the safety systems are tested to ensure high reliability/operability and availability in a high state of readiness to mitigate the highly, but unlikely potential consequences of a radiological accident , and
    (6) PG&E’s Emergency Planning & Disaster Management Preparedness/Procedures, Operator Training and Drills conform to the NRC Regulations to adequately protect the health and safety of public in case of a nuclear event.

    A review of DCCP documents indicates that DCCP is robustly designed to handle the adverse effects of Tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural hazards compared with Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster events. The plant’s Westinghouse safety systems, back-up systems and fire/emergency response systems are well designed/maintained and prepared to mitigate the consequences of any design basis and radiological/natural events to adequately protect the health & safety of the public. DCCP is a very crucial asset for meeting the electrical requirements of Northern Californians, reducing the global pollution and is an important economical resource for Californians. The recent earthquake studies conducted by PG&E and NRC Evaluations is a reminder that the safety issues brought out by the critics/Dr. Peck have no sound basis/technical merit and will not hold in any court of law or in front of the NRC Atomic Safety Licensing Board. After the dismissal and negligent performance of SCE San Onofre Senior Leadership Team and NRC Region IV AIT Team in San Onofre, TEPCO and Japanese Government in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the solid team work & alignment and display of critical questioning & Investigative attitude by PG&E, CPUC and NRC Region IV and NRC Executive Director of Operations is a new and fresh attempt & precedent in restoring nuclear safety and public trust.

    Vinod K. Arora, California P.E. (CA- Mechanical)
    MS Engineering, BS Chemical Engineering
    President, AVP Arora International (IRS Approved Public Charity)
    Former San Onofre Engineer/Nuclear Oversight Auditor
    Former San Onofre FP/EP/Hazards Barrier Engineer
    Former San Onofre 10CFR 50.59/Operability Engineer
    Former Rancho Seco/Vogtle HELB/Flooding Analysis/FP/50.59 Engineer
    Former Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers
    Former Shift Chemical Engineer, Century Chemicals, India

  3. Comparing Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCCP) with Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

    A review of DCCP documents indicates that DCCP is robustly designed against Tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural hazards compared with Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster events. The plant’s Westinghouse safety systems, back-up systems and fire/emergency response systems are well designed/maintained and prepared to mitigate the consequences of any design basis and radiological/natural events to adequately protect the health & safety of the public. DCCP is a very crucial asset for meeting the electrical requirements of Northern Californians, reducing the global pollution and is an important economical resource.

    Vinod K. Arora, California P.E. (CA- Mechanical)
    MS Engineering, BS Chemical Engineering
    President, AVP Arora International (IRS Approved Public Charity)
    Former San Onofre Engineer/Nuclear Oversight Auditor
    Former San Onofre FP/EP/Hazards Barrier Engineer
    Former San Onofre 10CFR 50.59/Operability Engineer
    Former Rancho Seco/Vogtle HELB/Flooding Analysis/FP/50.59 Engineer
    Former Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers
    Former Shift Chemical Engineer, Century Chemicals, India

  4. Thought of the Day – Diablo Canyon PR AID FOR NRC Region IV, NRC Executive Director of Operations, NRC ACRS Executive Director or PG&E NEWS Room

    PG& E Fact Sheet states, “The dominant seismic feature in the vicinity of Diablo Canyon is the Hosgri Fault. In 1975 the NRC, in collaboration with the USGS, concluded that the maximum earthquake on the Hosgri fault could be as high as M 7.5 – resulting in ground motions of 0.75 g at DCPP. In 1978 PG&E seismically retrofitted all structures, systems, and components at DCPP to withstand the 0.75 g ground motion. In 1985, with advice from the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), the NRC required four licensing conditions to be resolved to approve the final operating license. This seismic safety reevaluation was named the Long Term Seismic Program (LTSP). During the program, improved earthquake models showed that the maximum earthquake on the Hosgri fault was M 7.2 and improved ground motion models gave a ground motion of up to 0.83 g. The plant structures, systems, and components were shown to have adequate seismic safety margin to withstand ground motions of 0.83 g. The LTSP report and conclusions were approved by the NRC in 1991 (NRC-SSER-34). PG&E and the NRC agreed to make the LTSP a permanent Program as part of the operating license which continually evaluates seismic issues, and applies new information to assure that the plant is seismically safe.”

    NRC, PG&E, CPUC & DCSC will be ahead in the Public Relations, Public Communications, Public Trust and Public Safety Game especially after the San Onofre fiasco, If PG&E posted on their website what exactly PG&E did to seismically retrofit all structures, systems, and components at DCPP to withstand the LTSP Hosgri Fault M7.2, 083 g ground motion ground motion. Did PG&E or Bechtel power Corporation perform the retrofit work and how much money was spent? The request is to ensure that public gets solid and visual information because the public does not understand complicated scientific information. That is for NRC and the scientists. Just thinking ahead?
    Thanks Ms. Lara Uselding
    Mr. Scott Burnell for posting the blog.
    AVP Arora International (IRS Approved Public Charity, Promoter of Safe Nuclear Power & Transparent Public Communications)

  5. Thought of the Day – Diablo Canyon Seismic Quiz To NRC Region IV, NRC Executive Director of Operations, NRC ACRS Executive Director or PG&E Seismic Qualifications Department

    Lower the damping value assumed, larger the seismic stress attenuated through the plant, higher the assurance of the component to perform its safety function during a SSE. Damping values higher than RG 1.61 may also be used provided they were approved for the specific application and material. PG&E mechanical purchased components used a damping value of 4 under Hosgri Fault Evaluation (HE), the SSE approved by NRC for Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP), whereas RG 1.161 only recommends a damping value of 3. Was this exception approved by NRC or an Operability assessment performed by PG& E to document a degraded, non-conforming, unanalyzed condition, any compensatory measures or corrective actions required? Just trying to look ahead… Thanks

    PG&E mechanical purchased components
    PG&E SSE Hosgri Fault Damping – 4.0
    NRC Regulatory Guide 1.161 Damping 3.0

  6. Preliminaryy Opinion of AVP Arora International(Public Charity) on Diablo Canyon Power Plant Seismic Issues for the benefit of Northern Californians, CPUC, DSCC, PG&E and NRC (To be updated)

    From: Vinod K. Arora, California P.E. (CA- Mechanical)
    MS Engineering, BS Chemical Engineering
    President, AVP Arora International (IRS Approved Public Charity)
    Former San Onofre Engineer/Nuclear Oversight Auditor
    Former San Onofre FP/EP/Hazards Barrier Engineer
    Former San Onofre 10CFR 50.59/Operability Engineer
    Former Rancho Seco/Vogtle HELB/Flooding Analysis/FP/50.59 Engineer
    Former Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers
    Former Shift Chemical Engineer, Century Chemicals, India

    Conclusions:

    Based on a comprehensive review of IAEA, FEMA, NRC, ASME Rules/Data, PG&E Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) advanced seismic study documents, world-wide benchmarking of earthquake data and numerous operability/10CFR 50.59 Screens conducted on San Onofre degraded, non-conforming and unanalyzed conditions for SSCs, AVP Arora International concludes that NRC & PG&E updated Diablo Canyon Power Plant seismic analysis, operability evaluations and studies meet the intent of federal regulations and are more logical and technically convincing/robust than personal opinions reported by Dr. Peck in his DPO.

    The NRC rules and inspection procedures are very clear for seismic qualifications, operability determinations, use of safety, engineering & code margins, alternative analyses approaches and use of professional engineering judgment. All the issues regarding the design basis, technical, operating and licensing violations for seismic criteria and “circular logics” pointing to the non-performance of NRC’s Prejudiced Special Panel and bending NRC Rules at DCCP cited in Dr. Peck’s Report and Response have been addressed more than satisfactorily by NRC. It seems like NRC Region IV is learning from its San Onofre RSGs Catastrophic Design/Regulatory/Public Communication Mistakes and non-concurrence of its actions by NRC ASLB Judges.

    However, PG&E & NRC are addressing and communicating the seismic issues in a very complex technical and defensive way, which the common people do not really understand. In light of Dr. Peck’s DPO, NRC Region IV& PG&E communication with the concerned public has to be pro-active/transparent and not defensive/evasive/wishy-washy like San Onofre. NRC & PG&E need to follow the example of American Government’s pro-active and open public communication approach against ISIS and Russian Terrorism.

    The communication emphasis is recommended to be in the following order:
    1. As First Line of Defense, installation of redundant seismic monitoring and safety system designed to shut down the reactors promptly in the event of significant ground motion offers significant advantages to Plant Operators and early warning to residents in the LPZ and EPZ,
    2. As the Second Line of Defense, Westinghouse’s Multiple Reactor Safety Systems have a proven 70 year history of Safe Operation minimizing the potential radiological consequences of any earthquake accident,
    3. As the Third Line of Defense PG&E’s surveillance and maintenance procedures ensure that all the safety systems are tested to ensure high degree of reliability/operability and availability in a high state of readiness to mitigate the highly, but unlikely potential consequences of a seismic/radiological accident, and
    4. PG&E’s Emergency Planning & Disaster Management Preparedness/Procedures, Operator Training and Drills conform to the NRC Regulations to adequately protect the health and safety of public in case of a nuclear event.

    A. Definitions:

    1. Peak ground acceleration (PGA) is a measure of earthquake acceleration on the ground and an important input parameter for earthquake engineering, also known as the design basis earthquake ground motion (DBEGM). Unlike the Richter and moment magnitude scales, it is not a measure of the total energy (magnitude, or size) of an earthquake, but rather of how hard the earth shakes in a given geographic area (the intensity). The peak horizontal acceleration (PHA) is the most commonly used type of ground acceleration in engineering applications, and is used to set building codes and design hazard risks. In an earthquake, damage to buildings and infrastructure is related more closely to ground motion, rather than the magnitude of the earthquake. For moderate earthquakes, PGA is the best determinate of damage; in severe earthquakes, damage is more often correlated with peak ground velocity.

    2. Spectral acceleration (SA) is a unit measured in g (the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity, equivalent to g-force) that describes the maximum acceleration in an earthquake on an object – specifically a damped, harmonic oscillator moving in one physical dimension. This can be measured at (or specified for) different oscillation frequencies and with different degrees of damping, although 5% damping is commonly applied. The SA at different frequencies may be plotted to form a response spectrum. Spectral acceleration, with a value related to the natural frequency of vibration of the building, is used in earthquake engineering and gives a closer approximation to the motion of a building or other structure in an earthquake than the peak ground acceleration value, although there is normally a correlation between [short period] SA and PGA. Some seismic hazard maps are also produced using spectral acceleration.

    3. Critical damping is the minimum amount of viscous damping that results in a displaced system returning to its original position without oscillation. Damping is a term used to assist in mathematically modeling and solving dynamic equations of motion for a vibratory system in which energy is dissipated. In general, damping increases with the magnitude of excitation and the resulting stress levels. It is shown that system damping, which is considered as the predominant damping mechanism for primary coolant loop components, yields damping values higher than those being used.

    4. Review of operating earthquake history and world-wide earthquake damage assessment confirms that High frequency ground motions are not damaging to well engineering SSCs.

    Summary: So we establish that low frequency ground motions combined with the use of highest spectral acceleration spectrum g values are the best factors for the seismic design to prevent damage and ensure operability of SSCs.

    B. PG& E Seismic Design Basis

    The new seismic design ground motions for DCPP were developed after the discovery of the Hosgri fault. In 1977, the largest magnitude of the design ground motions for Hosgri Fault exceeded the 1965 design ground motion (DDE). The Hosgri Fault earthquake was estimated at magnitude 7.5 and peak ground acceleration at 0.75g. The average spectral acceleration for 3 to 8.5 Hz (the frequency range of importance for DCPP structures) was estimated at 2.1g. The 1977 design ground motion g values exceeds the 1965 design ground motion (DDE). The 1977 HE Spectrum and 1991 LSTP SSER34 design ground motions are more conservative than the 1965 design ground motion (DDE) and bound Los Osos, Shoreline, Bay, San Luis Given and Linked Hosgri & San Simon ground motions. Therefore, no NRC license amendment was required to incorporate and update the revised findings into PG&E documents. DCPP modifications were made to the plant to accommodate the larger 1977 Hosgri Fault ground motion exceeds the 1965 design ground motion (DDE), so that it would withstand the increased design ground motions. The data based on PG&E and Dr. Peck’s Reports is shown below:

    (1) Type of Fault/Spectrum
    (2) Magnitude
    (3) Peak Spectral Acceleration (g)
    (4) Approximate Spectral Frequency (HZ)
    (5) Peak Ground Acceleration (g) @ 100 HZ Frequency

    (1) PG&E Original Design Basis (5) 0.40
    (1) Los Hosgri & San Simon (2) 7.3 (3) 1.3 (4) 2.5 (5) N/A
    (1) Shore Line Faults (2) 6.7 (3) 1.3 (4) 2.5 (5) 0.62
    (1) San Luis Bay (2) 6.4 (3) 1.45 (4) 2.5 (5) 0.70
    (1) 1977 Hosgri (2) 7.5 (3) 4 (4) 2.1 (5) 0.75

    The exceptions cited by Dr. Peck’s DPO are noted below.

    Type of Structure DDE (% of Critical Damping),@ Frequency 100 Hz and PGA 0.4g HE (% of Critical Damping) @ Frequency 2.1 Hz and SA 4.0 g NRC RG 1.161 (% of Critical Damping
    Containment structure and all internal concrete structures 5.0 7.0 7.0
    Welded structural steel assemblies 1.0 4.0 4.0
    Bolted or riveted steel assemblies 2.0 7.0 7.0
    PG&E mechanical purchased components 2.0 4.0 3.0
    Vital piping systems (except reactor coolant pump) 0.5 3.0 4.0
    Reactor coolant loop 1.0 4.0 4.0

    Pacific Gas and Electric Seismic Prompt Operability Determination 2011 – PG&E concluded that all SSCs were operable because the new seismic deterministic ground motion spectrums were bound by HE design basis. The POD stated that HE safety analysis, including methods, design basis values/inputs, and acceptance criteria, was an acceptable alternative method for concluding that all plant SSC met the specified safety functions for the DDE. The NRC staff concluded that the revised operability determination provided an initial basis for concluding a reasonable assurance that plant equipment would withstand the potential effect of the new vibratory ground motion. AVP Arora International agrees with NRC & PGE on these conclusions.

  7. Major nuclear accidents could have been prevented provided: (1) Operating, maintenance, design, testing and surveillance procedures and the design basis standards were followed to the Letter of the Law, and (2) Academic Research, Industrial Benchmarking, Critical Questioning & Investigative Attitude and Use of Human Performance Tools were consistently encouraged, monitored and enforced by manufacturers, utilities and regulators before making design changes outsides the established standards. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and shutdown of San Onofre Units 2 & 3 are now part of the unforgettable and unforgiveable nuclear legacy.

    Diablo Canyon seismic safety issues are very complex and cannot be resolved using the technology for oil and gas exploration, three-dimensional geophysical seismic reflection mapping and other advanced techniques to explore fault zones. Earth is in a constant change of unpredictable flux. Earthquakes are violent and unpredictable as a result of balancing of the forces of nature; they are manifestations of energy in wave-form that may not be detected accurately. Currently satellites used for global positioning systems may have the capabilities to detect electromagnetic radiation similar to emissions noticed prior to earthquakes. Such satellites could be enhanced to detect and record electromagnetic waves and magnetic fields propagating from future locations of earthquakes providing weeks, rather than hours, of notice before the event. In order to do this, there are several technologies that would require acute development and enormous expense. Some of the technologies that will be used in future will include:

    1. Superconducting antennae and solenoid coils, which will be able to measure miniscule electromagnetic radiation field changes, and detect the present of ELF radiation.

    2.Advanced Radar and Infrared Cameras, which will take a series of images both over a long period of time and over short time frames, and collect data to be processed to recognize signs of impending earthquakes.

    3. Advanced Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar, which, developed by the European Space Agency, provides probable fault movement over a period of years, but if developed, could give predictions over a period of months or even weeks.

    4. Modems and Data Processing Centers, to receive the data collected by the satellites at given intervals, and to analyze the trends recognized in the electromagnetic emissions, radar pictures, infrared readings, and ELF emissions data.

    Long-term seismic and geodetic monitoring of the DCPP region using the PG&E Central Coast Seismic Network (CCSN, including the Point Buchon Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) network), and the USGS Central California Coast Region (CCCR) geographic positioning system (GPS) arrays cannot reliably predict earthquakes. So, if we can’t predict earthquakes, what can we do to prepare for them?

    In my opinion, PG&E & NRC are addressing and communicating the seismic issues in a very complex way (By citing 3-D reflection mapping modeling techniques& expert studies), which the common people do not really understand. In light of Dr. Peck’s DPO, NRC & PG&E communication with the concerned public has to be pro-active/transparent and not defensive/evasive/wishy-washy like San Onofre. NRC & PG&E need to follow the example of American Government’s pro-active and open public communication approach against ISIS and Russian Terrorism. The communication emphasis has to be in the following order:

    1. As First Line of Defense-in-Depth Approach, installation of redundant seismic monitoring and safety system designed to shut down the reactors promptly in the event of significant ground motion offers significant advantages to Plant Operators and early warning to residents in the LPZ and EPZ,

    2. As the Second Line of Defense, Westinghouse’s Multiple Reactor Safety Systems have a proven 70 year history of Safe Operation minimizing the potential radiological consequences of any earthquake accident,

    3. As the Third Line of Defense PG&E’s surveillance and maintenance procedures have to ensure that all the safety systems are tested to ensure high reliability/operability and availability in a high state of readiness to mitigate the highly, but unlikely potential consequences of a radiological accident , and

    4. PG&E’s Emergency Planning & Disaster Management Preparedness/Procedures, Operator Training and Drills conform to the NRC Regulations to adequately protect the health and safety of public in case of a nuclear event.

  8. The science of earthquake prediction is still developing. Seismologists cannot predict exactly when and where a quake will strike. However, seismologists have well-defined methods for identifying areas with higher earthquake potentials. Seismologists also have mature models to describe how a fault rupture’s energy will travel to and affect a given site on the Earth’s surface.
    Scott Burnell

  9. The definitive studies were done by famed Seismologist Jim Brune in the 1980’s, showing Diablo was a danger because of parallel faults that could interact to destroy the plant. http://crack.seismo.unr.edu/htdocs/brune.html Those threats now loom large as Fukushima pours radioactivity into the ocean with nothing to stop the flow for hundreds of years. Note the complete abscence of Fukushima from the news. Very frightening.

    The Diablo Canyon Atomic Reactor is now a dangerous storage site for highly-irradiated by product they try to call ‘spent’. That’s not the word for it. A better word is volatile. And that’s not the place for it. A better place is in a bad dream.

    Joey Racano, Director
    Ocean Outfall Group
    http://www.oceanoutfallgroup.com

  10. Lets hope that the information just released about Diablo Canyon is also addressed in the review.

    I’m especially glad that the Chairman of the NRC is a World Class Geologist, because earthquakes pose a major threat to all nuclear power plants!

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