The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved the funding of PG&E’s advanced seismic studies to support the continued safe operation of Diablo Canyon Power Plant and the safety of critical infrastructure in the community.
On Sept. 13, the CPUC approved a PG&E request to recover the cost of the studies, about $64 million, from customers through rates. The studies, a series of two- and three-dimensional onshore and offshore evaluations, were called for by the state of California.
As the Commission’s decision noted, the seismic studies are being done at “the recommendation of the CEC (California Energy Commission) and at the direction of the CPUC. Additionally, enhanced knowledge of the seismic hazard near Diablo Canyon provides a clear benefit to PG&E’s customers in that … it enables PG&E to continue the safe operation of this valuable generation resource.”
In the aftermath of the Fukushima tragedy in Japan, PG&E has responded to the concerns of local residents by taking numerous actions, including accelerating the completion of these seismic studies, to assure customers that the safety of Diablo Canyon is a top priority.
PG&E is committed to conducting this work safely and with as little impact as possible to the community and the environment. In August, the State Lands Commission approved the seismic testing. If all the necessary permits are granted by state and federal agencies, the high-energy study could begin this fall.
PG&E has been working with experts to make sure that this necessary offshore testing will have minimal impacts on marine life in the vicinity. Currents recently documented the mitigation measures that the company plans to take when the tests are being conducted.