Nobody takes earthquakes more seriously than the people who build, run and evaluate nuclear plants. Recently, PG&E did a careful study of the earthquake risk around Diablo Canyon, and concluded that the public safety would not be affected by major earthquakes on the local faults. The NRC also requires new evaluations of earthquake risk when new information becomes available. Again, the evaluations show that Diablo Canyon is built safely.
For some reason, one of the anti-nuclear groups has decided these evaluations are insufficient. They want an evaluation of an earthquake right under the plant! Apparently, they don't know that earthquakes don't just happen in random locations. There's a reason people map faults, evaluate faults, and so forth! Don't let unscientific fear-mongering get in the way of keeping the public safe. Diablo Canyon is safe.
Yes, keeping Diablo Canyon operating is indeed keeping the public safe. California does not need more gas line explosions like San Bruno. California does not need more carbon dioxide to feed global warming and drought. In other words, California does not need anti-nuclear scare stories for setting policy. Closing nuclear plants diminishes public safety by requiring more use of natural gas and causing more global warming.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post urging people to write to the California Energy Commission. A volunteer group, Californians for Green Nuclear Power, was providing information to counter groups that wanted Diablo Canyon closed for "earthquake safety." I always wonder why anti-nuclear groups act as if nobody but themselves ever thinks about the seismic safety of a nuclear plant.
I wrote this comment to the Energy Commission, and I also placed it as a comment on my own blog post. Recently, I decided that I wanted to give the comment a bit more visibility, so I am reposting it here.
By the way, old-timer Californians refer to the 1906 Earthquake as the "Earthquake and Fire. " The fire did most of the damage.
|San Bruno fire, caused by gas pipeline|