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Posted on September 28, 2011

San Luis Obispo County: Expanded Scope of Earthquake Studies Requires More Funding

PG&E has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for additional funding to pay for expanded 2-D and 3-D seismic studies near the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

Filed on Sept. 23, the request reflects the expanded scope of the planned work. According to the filing, “the area PG&E will be studying for the 3-D offshore studies and 2-D onshore studies has more than doubled.” That expansion was in response to input from the Independent Peer Review Panel (IPRP), PG&E’s assessment of initial 3-D low energy findings and comments from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

PG&E plans the following studies:

The first phase of the 3-D low energy offshore imagery was performed in 2010-2011.  Permitting for the remaining 3-D high-energy offshore studies is in process.  Data collection for the 2-D and 3-D high-energy onshore imagery started in September 2011.

Data collection on the 3-D high-energy offshore imaging is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2012, if offshore permits are obtained.

This investment will enable PG&E to collect additional information on local seismic and geological characterization.  The company intends to share the results with local officials and the general public.

The request provides the ability for the IPRP to continue to support scope finalization, data review and validation of study findings. It also provides the ability for the County of San Luis Obispo to participate in the IPRP process.

The IPRP is made up of representatives from the CPUC, the California Energy Commission, the California Geological Survey, the California Coastal Commission and the California Seismic Safety Commission.

PG&E has asked for an expedited review of its $64 million request.

PG&E has asked — and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has agreed — to delay the final processing of Diablo Canyon’s license renewal application until the company can complete and evaluate 3D seismic studies. PG&E made this request in April, and the NRC agreed to revise the license renewal schedule in June.

Also in June, PG&E and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) jointly asked the CPUC to suspend proceedings associated with its license renewal funding until the utility’s 3D seismic studies are completed and the findings have been submitted to the NRC. This filing with the CPUC is another example of PG&E’s ongoing commitment to the public to conduct our 3D seismic studies and evaluations prior to any license renewal decision being made.

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