Full Coverage

 Cameron Polom's live report from Santa Monica on The Seismic Effect
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2 years ago

Cameron Polom's live report from Santa Monica on The Seismic Effect

The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to deny PG&E's permit for seismic testing off Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Cameron Polom reported the decision live from Santa Monica on KBSY News at 5 p.m. just minutes after it came down.

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2 years ago

Calif. Coastal Commission denies permit for seismic testing

The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to deny PG&E a coastal development permit for seismic testing off the coast of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. The permit was one of the last few major obstacles in the way of PG&E's high-energy survey using air cannons to map underwater fault lines. The planned testing has drawn criticism from people concerned about marine life.

2 years ago

The Seismic Effect: Public comment wraps up at Coastal Commission meeting

Public comment has just wrapped up at a California Coastal Commission meeting in Santa Monica where people are voicing their opinions about planned seismic testing off Diablo Canyon.

Commissioners will take a 15-minute break before making final comments and beginning deliberations on whether to grant PG&E a permit for the testing, which involves firing air cannons at the ocean floor.

Watch KSBY News at 5 & 6 p.m. for a live report from the meeting.

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2 years ago

Coastal Commission to vote on seismic testing today

California Coastal Commissioners are meeting in Santa Monica and are expected to vote Wednesday on PG&E's permit for controversial seismic testing off Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

The testing involves firing air cannons at the ocean floor. It has drawn criticism from people concerned about marine life.

Last week, the Costal Commission's staff issued a recommendation asking commissioners to deny the permit.

KSBY's Cameron Polom is attending the meeting, which started at 9 a.m., and will have the latest in a report on our news at 5 and 6 p.m.

2 years ago

Biden's son stumps for Obama in Reno area

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden campaigned Friday in the Reno area on behalf of his father and President Barack Obama.

Vice President Joe Biden's son appeared at events in Reno, Carson City and Fernley as part of a final push for Nevadans to cast ballots early for Obama.

Early voting ended Friday in the state. The election is Tuesday.

Biden also touted Obama's accomplishments and commitment to fight for all Nevadans.

He was the latest Obama or Mitt Romney surrogate to appear in the battleground state that offers six electoral votes.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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2 years ago

The Seismic Effect: Mysterious dolphin deaths in Peru

"It probably would be the first time that seismic testing had ever been implicated in this kind of mass mortality of dolphins," say Hardy Jones, a wildlife documentary maker for the last thirty years.

Thousands of dolphins wash up on the northern coast of Peru. Are they victims of seismic testing?

The debate over high-decibel seismic testing is not just local.

Scientists in South America are researching whether it's the cause of mass marine life deaths.

In February of this year, thousands of dolphins began dying and washing up on Peruvian beaches.

During that same time period, BPZ energy was doing a seismic survey in the same area where the dolphins had turned up.

The mystery surrounding their deaths continues to be a subject of discussion among many in the scientific community.

It's a tragic sight.

Thousands of dolphins lie dead on the beaches of Peru earlier this year.

"It was a tragic and heart rending thing to see and then of course we began to look for what the cause was," says Hardy Jones.

Wildlife documentarian Hardy Jones believes these casualties were caused by the same types of seismic tests that are proposed here on the Central Coast.

Jones and Peruvian veterinarians performed more than 30 necropsies, or animal autopsies, and this is what they found.

"The plausible conclusion that we came to was that an acoustical trauma caused rapid assent among the dolphins and then that led to decompression sickness," says Jones.

If you're a diver you know this all too well. Jones says, like humans, dolphins must decompress before heading to the surface from deep water. But he says the loud bangs of the air cannons startled the animals to the surface too rapidly, causing their deaths.

He says they found bleeding and simple fractures of the middle ear, and massive invasion of air bubbles which shifted vital organs such as lungs, livers, kidneys, bladders and blood vessels.

But Frances Gulland disagrees with the findings.
She's a scientist and veterinarian at the marine mammal center in Saucelito, California.
Peruvian scientists went to her for help in interpreting their testing.

"So there were a mixture of different species that appeared to be affected over an extended time period at various stages of decomposition, suggesting that there wasn't a single cause of death that occurred at one time," says Gulland.

Gulland says there's a long list of potential causes for the dolphin deaths.

"From environmental changes, changes in food supply, changes in interaction with fisheries, infectious diseases such as the influenza and other viruses, as well as bio toxins that could not be detected in the samples that were tested," says Gulland.

Other scientists say these types of seismic surveys only affect the way marine life acts.

"Most of the effects we might expect and that were predicted were behavioral responses," says Brandon Southall.

Dr. Brandon Southall worked with a federal sea mammal research unit to develop the environmental impact report being used for the seismic testing near diablo canyon.
He says these types of studies typically don't cause injury or death in marine animals.

But he adds behavioral changes can still pose a threat.

"If there are changes in their distribution their foraging patterns, their communication patterns those can be important, those can be significant kinds of affects," says Southall.

Dr. Graham Kent has spent more than 25 years on boats conducting these types of surveys, most recently just last July.

"We used an array off of Washington State that was exactly twice as powerful as what is purposed off the Central Coast."

Kent says there were no casualties of marine life during that research and insists that these surveys do not physically harm animals.

"I think if a lot of people went out on a seismic boat and saw how we interact with the National Marine Fisheries and the marine mammal observers, how we shut down when we need to, I think people would feel a little bit better."

After almost nine months of constant research from scientists worldwide, there is still no clear cut answer to what killed those thousands of dolphins off the waters of Peru.

2 years ago

County supervisors oppose nuke plant seismic tests

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) - San Luis Obispo County supervisors are opposed to high-energy offshore seismic testing near a California central coast nuclear power plant.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants to use big air guns to emit strong sound waves into a large area off the Diablo Canyon plant, an area that includes parts of marine reserves, to make three-dimensional maps of fault zones.

A state environmental impact analysis says the tests would likely adversely affect marine life and the environment.

The San Luis Obispo County Tribune (http://bit.ly/SvB80x ) says supervisors heard more than four hours of impassioned pleas from residents before voting Tuesday to oppose the tests.

The board's objections will be forwarded to the California Coastal Commission, which is considering PG&E's plans at a Nov. 14 meeting in Santa Monica.

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2 years ago

Public will be able to discuss PG&E seismic testing at Board of Supervisor's meeting

Yielding to public pressure, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a board business discussion for October 30 to talk about PG&E's proposal to conduct seismic tests off the coast near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The testing is part of a $64 million study that PG&E is conducting, saying that it will help them understand earthquakes faults around the nuclear plant.

The testing will last anywhere from 9 to 12 days and be done this year, with any remaining testing set to be completed the same time next year.

The testing has been a hot button issue across the Central Coast. Seismologists say the use of the echoes of the blasts from Earth's crust will help them develop three-dimensional images of earthquakes faults, while many people fear the blast will harm marine life and local fishing.


The following is a statement sent to KSBY from PG&E regarding this issue:

PG&E is committed to conducting all seismic research safely and in a manner that respects community and environmental values.

Draft findings by federal agencies have determined that the environmental impact of the proposed high-energy study may result in a temporary disturbance of marine life in the survey area.

This type of research is performed around the world and without adverse impacts to marine life observed.

To limit potential impacts to marine life, PG&E is implementing and funding numerous protection and monitoring programs. These include the use of trained species observers, aerial surveys and establishing marine mammal
protection zones.

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2 years ago

PG&E's plans change for seismic survey

PG&E is modifying its proposal for its controversial seismic studies.
PG&E plans to map the seismic faults in the ocean near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
Survey crews will be using high frequency air cannons.
The company is looking for approval to begin the tests in late November through December.
PG&E is delaying and down sizing its seismic testing.
The announcement came four days after a Fish and Game Commission meeting in Sacramento.
At that meeting, commission members, environmentalists, community members and commercial fishermen voiced their strong opposition to PG&E's plan to conduct the high energy survey.
The modified proposal will shorten the amount of time PG&E is performing tests in Central Coast waters by studying only 1 of the 3 proposed survey areas this year.
The rest will be surveyed next year between November and December.
PG&E says the proposed changes have two main purposes.
First, to make sure the technology used for the research is appropriate.
Secondly, to ensure the measures used to protect marine life are effective.
This years work is expected to last 12 days and will focus on the portions of the Hosgri, Los Osos, and shoreline fault zones in the Estero Bay.
PG&E admits the survey could have environmental impacts, as well as impacts on commercial fishers and marine life.
The State Coastal Commission was scheduled to decide whether to issue one of the key permits for the project at its October 10th meeting in Oceanside.
That hearing has now been postponed at PG&E's request until the November 14th meeting in Santa Monica.

2 years ago

State studies impacts of nuke plant seismic tests

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State wildlife officials are mulling whether to issue permits that would allow Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to conduct seismic testing near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The California Fish and Game Commission on Monday heard testimony from scientists and others regarding the possible impacts of the large air canons used in the tests on whales and other marine life.

PG&E would use the air canons in the creation of detailed maps of new shoreline fault zones discovered near the plant in 2008.

A State Lands Commission environmental study found that the tests would likely harm marine life, but said that the public safety benefits of conducting the tests outweighed risks to wildlife.

The Coastal Commission is scheduled to hear the issue at its Oct. 10 meeting.

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2 years ago

Seismic testing meeting in Sacramento Monday

The California Fish and Game Commission and PG&E are meeting today to talk about the proposed seismic testing near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

They'll talk about the status of PG&E's proposed Central Coast seismic imaging project and their application for a scientific collecting permit and FGC's concerns.

The meeting is in Sacramento starting at 10 a.m.

It will be streamed live. You can click here to watch.

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2 years ago

PG&E to charge customers 64 million dollars for seismic studies

"It was not my decision to build a nuclear power plant on a fault line to begin with," says one local San Luis Obispo Resident.

Whether you agree with the planned seismic surveys near Diablo Canyon or not, if they're approved, you'll be paying for them.

Last week, the State Public Utilities Commission gave PG&E the go ahead to pass the surveys' 64-million dollar price tag on to its customers.

The utility company will use high-decibel sound waves to map earthquake fault lines.
The fact that they're passing the cost on to consumers is nothing new.

PG&E says it wasn't really their idea, Senator Sam Blakeslee and the state called for the mapping.
Secondly, they say since every PG&E customer benefits from it, all customers have to pay for it.

Your electricity bill will go up when and if these seismic surveys move forward.

"It is appropriate to pay for the studies through rate increases as the study benefits all of PG&E's customers," says Blair Jones of PG&E.

In other words when you pay your electricity bill every month your not just paying for the electricity. Your paying for the way it gets to you, power lines, piping, and man power.

Your also paying for how its generated. PG&E believes these tests make Diablo Canyon safer.

"The enhanced seismic knowledge of the region, allows for the continued safe operation of this valuable generation facility," says Jones.

Just because the testing is going on here doesn't mean we shoulder the entire burden of paying for it.

Every PG&E customer in the state will see an increase on their bill.

"I can understand why their going to do it but i'd like to know how much its going to cost," said one resident.

PG&E says it will only be a few cents per customer.

"I don't want to spend a penny on a seismic study under the water thats going to destroy our sea life, i want nothing to do with it," says another local.

However, this is nothing new, when PG&E wanted to upgrade to smart meters, customers paid for that too.

"We have our lights on, we have our printers rolling, we have our refrigerators rolling," says John Arnold. "If we don't pay for it who's going to pay for it, we're the users."

PG&E made more than a billion dollars last year so you can understand why some don't want to front the cost, however they wont have a choice if the surveys receive their final approvals.

The next important hurdle for PG&E is getting approval from the State Coastal Commission.
It will discuss the project and vote at its next meeting October 10th in Oceanside.

2 years ago

Seismic Effect: How PG&E plans to reimburse fisherman for lost catches

Fishermen on the Central Coast continue to worry about both short term and long term effects on their businesses due to PG&Es upcoming seismic survey using sound waves.
We continue our in depth coverage of the seismic effect tonight with a look at how PG&E plans to cover lost catches commercial fishers say they'll experience during testing.
According to PG&E, an offer has been presented in the amount of one-point-two million dollars for lost catches for the months of November through December for both this year and the next. However, fishermen say there's a snag in those negotiations.

Mark Tognazzini has fished Morro Bay for almost fifty years.

"I also have a restaurant and a fish market here," says Tognazzini.

As a representative for the fishers council, he's sat across the table with PG&E, during negotiations and fears these surveys will have a massive effect on the commercial fishing industry.

"Its been proven that there's actual displacement of certain species of rockfish," says Tognazzini. "There's actual change in their behavior."

Studies show that fish stop biting during these surveys, and that change, takes a toll on fisher men's wallets.

PG&E says that's something they take very seriously.

"We're sensitive to the fact that this study could potentially impact local fisherman in the area," says Blair Jones of PG&E. "That's why we're working with them to find a way to compensate them for potential losses."

The plan is to use historical fish catch data provided by California Fish and Game.

According to a four year average value of catches since 2006 over a four month period running from september to december, the average value during that time was just over 800-thousand dollars. The highest valued year was just over one point one million dollars.

PG&E says they feel the offer of one point two million is fair.

But Tognazzini feels differently.

"I have tell you what they want and what we want, we're light years apart," says Tognazzini. "They can say what ever they want and we can still say what ever we want, but there's no agreement!"

Fisherman continue to worry about long term effects. Negotiations between them and PG&E have stalled at this point and now both sides have agreed to bring in a third party mediator to sit in on those negotiations. However, it looks like there's going to be quite sometime before an agreement is reached.

Long term effects is still a valid concern because there is no sure fire data that says fish displacement will not be permanent.
We did however contact commercial fisherman in Santa Barbara who've had a lot of experience with these types of surveys.
They told us that in short term fish stop biting but within a few months after the surveys end, the fish have returned to normal behavior.

But its still up in the air how fish will react in this area.

2 years ago

Seismic Effect: Marine Life

Humpback Whales have drawn thousands of people to the central coast the last few weeks.

Many were up close and personal during their spectacular show.

In our ongoing coverage of the seismic effect, tonight we take a look at the effect of PG&E's planned seismic testing on marine life.

Because these tests require a high frequency air cannon being fired to the bottom of the ocean, many of the different marine species are vulnerable including the amazing whales we've seen here recently.

But PG&E says they have a plan in place to limit that impact.

"In december we do have Grey Whales, and we always have Harbor Porpoise , California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Southern Sea Otters," says Lisa Harper-Henderson of the Marine Mammal Center in Morro Bay.

With the abundance of marine life on the central coast its no wonder why so many are worried about these seismic surveys.

"We're committed to doing this work in a way that has the least impacts on the environment," says Blair Jones, spokesperson for PG&E.

PG&E's first plan of action is to give marine life a heads up.

"As the research vessel enters the survey area, they'll start emitting low pulse sounds to warn marine life in the area," says Jones. "Those sounds will slowly ramp up until we get to the level that's needed to preform the survey."

As those sounds get louder, the marine life in theory will get as far away from the source as they can.

In addition, spotter boats, helicopters and marine biologists aboard the research vessel will also be on the lookout for marine life venturing into the survey area. At night, researchers will use infrared to spot marine life entering the area.

"And if any whales or other sea life is in the survey area, all work is going to cease," says Jones.

But avoiding these encounters is not absolute according to PG&E, and the consequences can be fatal.

"If organism, animals, or Plankton, were very close to that sound source, there would be a significant injury or mortality," says Dean Wendt, a professor of biology at Cal Poly.

Although that fatality that he's talking about is a possibility,it is not likely to be significant. These types of studies go on all over the world, even here on the central coast. All the off shore oil rigs we see in Santa Barbara are a product of seismic mapping preformed by the same type of vessel without out major marine impacts.

2 years ago

Seismic Survey: How it works

A plan to map seismic fault lines near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant received key approval this week from state officials.

However, there are big concerns about impact on marine life, local fisheries, and people using the waters.

The study had been planned since 2006 but gained a sense of urgency after an earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan in March 2011.

The study will be conducted by PG&E with a price tag of 64-million dollars.

PG&E began fast-tracking the seismic study and agreed to delay pursuing federal re-licensing of the 27-year-old power plant until the seismic study is complete.

Putting it simply, PG&E is spending a lot of money, to determine if an off shore earthquake occurred near diablo canyon, would it have the same disastrous meltdown we saw at the Fukishima plant during last years earthquake in Japan.

If all goes to plan, PG&E will begin seismic mapping off the central coast November first using advanced high frequency air cannons.

"Equipment will emit a sound," says Blair Jones, spokesperson for PG&E. "That sound will go down to the ocean bottom to the earths crust, it will then bounce back off, as sound does, the bottom of the ocean."

The sound is then received by four monitors being dragged behind the survey vessel.

"That equipment will help paint a 3d image of the seismic characteristics of the area," says Jones.

Scientist from PG&E say the survey will show the angle of the faults, how their shaped, and if they're interconnected, helping to determine how big of an earthquake can be generated by those faults.

This will help determine the safety of diablo canyon in the event of a large off shore quake.

The tests are being conducted in two phases.

"It will take thirty three days to preform the purposed work, the first window of opportunity to preform that is November through December of this year and the second opportunity will be the same time next year."

Two of the survey routes or race tracks will be completed this year and the final one during the same time next year.

As of now the studies are set to begin November 1st, however, PG&E still needs to secure approval of federal and other state agencies before it can proceed.

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2 years ago

Plan for seismic survey near Diablo Canyon gets key approval

A state agency approved plans Monday to allow seismic surveys near Diablo Canyon.

The California State Lands Commission approved the surveys with a reduced window for the work in order to reduce the effects of the surveys on marine mammals.

In the original proposed plan, testing was slated to start September 15, 2012 through December 31, 2012. The commission asked to reduce those dates to October 15, 2012 through December 31, 2012. If the testing is not completed during that time PG&E will be allowed to finish the testing in 2013.

This permit approval is just one of the local, state and federal approvals that PG&E must obtain to begin the testing.

Testing is being done to give seismologists a better picture of the danger facing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, operated by PG&E, in the event of an off shore earthquake.

2 years ago

NSF: seismic testing will impact marine life near Diablo Canyon

Local fishermen were paying a lot of attention to a meeting Wednesday night regarding seismic testing around Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Analysts with the National Science Foundation reported that the testing will not have a significant impact on the environment, but conceded there would be impacts on marine life, which means those who make their living at sea would be grounded for at least a month.

Pacific Gas and Electric has offered fishermen $1.2 million in compensation for lost catches, but fishermen said it is not enough because of the potential long term effects.

Testing is being done to give seismologists a better picture of the danger facing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, operated by PG&E, in the event of an off shore earthquake.

On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved the studies to move forward.

The state's land commission will have the final say next Tuesday.

2 years ago

$64M approved for San Onofre nuke plant seismic studies

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) - The California Public Utilities Commission has approved $64 million in funding for seismic studies to see how vulnerable the San Onofre nuclear plant may be to earthquakes.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/JDZyjI) says the costs will be recovered from Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric customers.

The study at San Onofre comes in response to legislation directing the commission to assess the plants.

The plant is currently out of service as the utility tries to figure out why steam generator tubes are showing more wear than they should.

Utility officials say they will work with Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the seismic studies beginning later this year.

The San Onofre plant's license expires in 2022. The studies could play into Edison's decision to renew it.


Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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2 years ago

Coastal Commission approves seismic testing near Diablo Canyon

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is now another step closer to seismic testing. On Wednesday, the California Coastal Commission approved PG&E's plans to put six seismic monitoring devices on the ocean floor near the plant.

The mission to see what potential dangers the Hosgri and Shoreline faults could pose to Diablo Canyon. It's a project anti-nuclear activists and local lawmakers have been demanding for from PG&E, especially since the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster. But not everyone is happy.

The Coastal Commission says there could be damage to the ocean floor and that commercial fishing could be potentially hit hard. Several Morro Bay commercial fisherman expressed concern about the monitors.

"There's fishermen that won't be able to fish during the seismic period at all," said Tom Roff, a commercial fisherman in Morro Bay. "And then, a lot of the tests that have gone on in the past, fish stopped biting when the air cannons go off."

There is also concern the monitoring devices will snarl fishing equipment.

"Hooks and traps, and they catch on the monitoring gear so you know they're not going to want you anywhere near their monitoring gear," Roff said. "And that's other areas you won't be able to fish."

PG&E has offered to donate about $34,000 to the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project as compensation. Roff says that's petty cash.

"Not enough money," Roff said. "To recover lost fishing gear? Oh God. They're going to cost us millions."

There will be six monitors in all; four will be on the sea floor for at least ten years, and the two others will be there for about a month.

PG&E, however, says it does not believe there will be any long-term impacts.

The company said in a statement, "PG&E recognizes the concerns expressed by local fishermen and we are committed to working with them. We continue to have ongoing, meaningful discussions with commercial fishermen to address their concerns. A number of mitigation measures will be put in place to minimize any impacts to marine wildlife. These measures range from the timing of the survey - which will be conducted outside the gray whale migration period and during lower abundance of fish - to having on-board marine mammal observers, and aerial surveys. We believe no long-term impacts will occur and hopeful that we will secure all of the necessary permits to move forward with these important studies."

3 years ago

PG&E wants N-plant license delay for seismic study

LOS ANGELES (AP) The owner of California's Diablo Canyon nuclear power complex has asked federal regulators to delay issuing extended operating permits until comprehensive studies are completed on earthquake faults in the area.

There has been an outcry over possible safety risks since a fault was discovered less than a half-mile from the coastal site near San Luis Obispo, a concern heightened by the Japanese nuclear crisis.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew its license for 20 years to operate the twin reactors. The permits expire in 2024 and 2025. The company says the plants are safe.

In a letter to the NRC dated Sunday, the company says it would be "prudent" to complete the studies prior to granting new licenses for the site along the Central Coast.


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4 years ago

NRC seismic information workshop draws more than 100 people

More than 100 people packed into the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo for the NRC's seismic information workshop Wednesday. Today's presentations are focusing on the science of earthquakes, and how the information is used to design nuclear power plants.

Seismic safety is an ongoing safety issue at Diablo Canyon, especially as the plant attempts to renew its two operating licenses for 20 more years.

Jane Swanson, of San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, says more seismic studies are needed. A series of studies on the newly-discovered Shoreline Fault just offshore of the plant will be complete in 2013.

"Knowledge is always a good thing and I've learned more about seismology today, but this workshop has no bearing on the legal challenges to early license renewal," said Swanson.

PGE says monitoring seismic activity at the plant is a daily priority. A spokesperson also says Diablo Canyon was designed, engineered and constructed to safely withstand the larges possible earthquakes that nearby faults could deliver.

"We've looked at seismic issues since the plane's inception and we continue to look at seismic issues each and every day," said Kory Raftery, a spokesperson for PGE.

We'll have more on this story throughout the day on ksby.com and tonight at 5 and 6.

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4 years ago

NRC holds seismic information workshop

A workshop will be held Wednesday morning for those wanting to learn about seismic hazards, and the safety of nuclear power plants.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will specifically discuss Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant on day two of the workshop, which is Thursday.

The workshop is being held at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo. However, registration for the event has closed.

4 years ago

Calif Geological Survey unveils new seismic map

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Officials with the California Geological Survey say they hope a new seismic map that includes more than 50 new fault lines discovered over the last two decades will improve construction and earthquake preparedness.

The map, which had not been updated since 1994, was unveiled on Tuesday at The Tech Museum in San Jose. The Geological Survey also presented an updated version of a second map that identifies the makeup of rock and soil.

State geologist John Parrish said the maps can help guide decisions about where to build schools and hospitals and where construction standards need to be higher.

The 50 additional surface fault lines include some very large ones that could lead to major earthquakes.

The seismic map is the fourth to be released by the state.

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5 years ago

Board agrees complete seismic study needed at Diablo power plant

Diablo Canyon needs a full-on seismic study before the power plant's license is renewed, that's according to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

The board voted this morning to send a letter to the Public Utilities Commission, in support of releasing funds to PG&E for a 3D seismic study. PG&E had already requested the cash.

A 3D study would give the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a better look at the risks associated with a nearby off-shore fault-line, the Shoreline Fault, before it renews the plant's license.

Experts describe a 2D study like an old fashioned x-ray, while a 3-d study is more like a CAT-Scan.

"The 3D seismic survey is a fundamental piece in a complete assessment of this fault," said supervisor Bruce Gibson.

The board also voted in favor of sending a letter to the NRC, requesting the renewal process be delayed.

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