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Home > Natural Resources > Disaster Resources

Nuclear Power Plant's Earthquake Safety Questioned in San Luis Obispo

Southern California's dense population must accept some dangers connected with our voracious appetite for energy, but safety is a necessary part of planning, especially for nuclear energy facilities.

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Calpirg -- California Public Interest Research Group -- has sent out the following notice about PG&E's nuclear power plant in Southern California -- San Luis Obispo.

Recent headlines have proved a powerful reminder of the devastation that earthquakes cause. Regardless of how you may feel about nuclear power, you probably agree that putting a plant on a fault line is a bad idea.

And refusing to evaluate seismic safety? That's simply unacceptable.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is taking a gamble with our money and our safety by refusing to quickly evaluate the dangers of a fault line discovered underneath their San Luis Obispo plant. As California ratepayers, we need to stand up.

Tell the Public Utilities Commission to block ratepayer funding of PG&E's nuclear plant relicensing until they complete earthquake safety studies.

Two years ago, a new earthquake fault line was discovered just 1,800 feet offshore from PG&E's massive nuclear power plant. That could mean safety risks for the communities surrounding the plant, and electricity rate spikes for all of us should an emergency shutdown occur.

In response to this concerning development, CALPIRG is pushing PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission to further investigate the seismic risks on the plant, and the potential impact of an earthquake on their neighbors and customers.

However, now PG&E is seeking approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to keep the plant open for another 20 years. With brazen disregard for consumers, PG&E wants the approval rubber-stamped BEFORE they complete studies of the safety risks of the fault line.

I don't think it's asking too much that safety studies be completed right away.

According to the Division of Ratepayer Advocates, PG&E customers have already been required to pay $4.4 billion in extra retrofit costs at the nuclear plant that could have been avoided, all because PG&E ignored evidence of an earthquake fault line discovered when the plant was first built.

If the plant did shut down, it could cost consumers up to $400 million per year on top of what they are already paying.

When an earthquake occurred under a Japanese nuclear power plant in 2007, radioactive waste was dislodged and released. Two years later, Japan's plant still is not fully operational, and costs to customers are reportedly over $10 billion.

Let's evaluate the risks and costs before we commit to another 20 years!

For more information from Calpirg

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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