Better Seismic Studies Needed at CA Nuclear Plants

In response to Southern California Edison’s announcement that they will do a more thorough seismic study for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)


Statement of CALPIRG State Director Emily Rusch

“Southern California Edison’s announcement that they will more thoroughly study seismic risks under the San Onofre nuclear power plant is long overdue. State officials have known that the site could experience larger and more frequent earthquakes than were anticipated when the plant was designed. Further study is necessary and prudent to fully understand the risks and prepare for the worst.

“Gov. Brown and the Public Utilities Commission should demand that the study:

1) Include state-of-the-art three-dimensional seismic reflection mapping;

2) Be independently peer-reviewed by experts; and

3) Be completed and publicly available as soon as possible

“The 7 million California residents that live within 50 miles of the plant deserve nothing less.

“Likewise, PG&E should speed up a similar seismic study for the Diablo Canyon plant near San Luis Obispo. These studies are just one important step of an immediate top-to-bottom safety review needed at both of California’s nuclear facilities. The nuclear crisis in Japan has served as a reminder that nuclear power is inherently risky, and potentially catastrophic.”

For more information on the seismic risks and the follow-up studies recommended for both San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants, read “An Assessment of California’s Nuclear Power Plants: AB 1632 Report,” completed by the California Energy Commission in November 2008.