Federal regulators have granted a PG&E request to delay the licensing renewal of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant until seismic studies of the area have been completed.
In a letter Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to modify Diablo Canyon's licensing renewal timeline, effectively postponing a final decision pending the completion of seismic studies around the plant.
"We asked the NRC to delay the final processing until we could complete and evaluate new seismic studies," said Blair Jones, spokesman for PG&E.
PG&E requested the licensing delay in April in response to public concerns after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused a massive nuclear accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
I really can't figure this one out. What are their seismic studies going to prove? There's a new fault, and they may find half a dozen more. California has this idea that faults are magical and they cause earthquakes, but all their recent earthquakes have been on 'undisovered' faults. That's because the whole place is broken to ratshit, and no decent earthquake is going to pay attention to any mapped fault.
My best conclusion is that they want to delay the politics until the heat dies down from Japan. They also want to deflect attention away from the glass fragility of nuclear plants cause by bad engineering analysis. This is a win-win for everybody! :)