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NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant 216

An anonymous reader writes Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon's lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant's operation. The document, which was obtained and verified by The Associated Press, does not say the plant itself is unsafe. Instead, according to Peck's analysis, no one knows whether the facility's key equipment can withstand strong shaking from those faults — the potential for which was realized decades after the facility was built. Continuing to run the reactors, Peck writes, "challenges the presumption of nuclear safety."
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NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant

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  • Not really new. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @06:13PM (#47752053)
    This is not a new story, basically a reprint. With that said, if there is any indication the the plant cannot withstand postulated earthquake levels it should be shut down. This was not ignored, and the article does mention that an evaluation was performed based on the new information.

    "In 2012, the agency endorsed preliminary findings that found shaking from the Shoreline fault would not pose any additional risk for the reactors. Those greater ground motions were “at or below those for which the plant was evaluated previously,” referring to the Hosgri fault, it concluded."

    Given our experience with plants holding up extremely well to seismic events and the large margins that are included in seismic design of these plants, the finding is not surprising. Work continues, as it should, to look for anything that could possibly have been missed or not enveloped by the new data.

    The basis for the inspectors complaint is, in large part, not that the plant is not capable of withstanding the quake, nor that the analsyis is faulty or incorrect, but rather that the licensing basis document has not been revised to require a higher peak acceleration design level. It is debateable whether such a would make any difference, since they are already required to analyze for the higher levels. Meanwhile, the concern is being handled through the appropriate processes.
  • by macpacheco ( 1764378 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:05PM (#47752437)

    Per the usual, the simple fact that Natural Gas and Coal accidents/air pollution kills people every day is ignored compared to the remote risk of something happening to a nuclear powerplant.
    If the 3 nuclear reactors in Fukushima Daichi were instead 3 coal thermal boilers, it would have killed hundreds of people in the decades it operated.
    6.5 quake is peanuts for a nuclear reactor.
    Nuclear require an extreme accident to become a hazard to human life, while coal/NG kills every day.
    Even solar and wind kill more per TWh produced than nuclear, perhaps they can cleanup their act and have less work accidents before they can claim solar/wind is safer than nuclear.

  • by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:44PM (#47753067) Homepage Journal
    Turns out storage is not much needed at 80% renewable energy supply. []

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