PG&E shares update on new county desal water sharing agreement
June 25, 2015
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.— Diablo Canyon Power Plant received its annual report card from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Wednesday evening, with the federal oversight agency concluding that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) operated the facility safely in 2014. The NRC also stated the plant remains safe to operate as they continue to independently review PG&E's recently submitted seismic hazard re-evaluation.
"Diablo Canyon Power Plant is a safe, clean and vital energy resource for our state and customers. The NRC's assessment places Diablo Canyon among the higher performing plants in the U.S. nuclear industry. This reflects the hard work and dedication of our talented employees and our commitment to meeting PG&E's and the NRC's high performance expectations," said Ed Halpin, PG&E's Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer.
During the public meeting in San Luis Obispo, the NRC reviewed how PG&E met a series of established industry-wide safety and performance objectives in 2014. The agency also confirmed that it will address one open item in their assessment by performing an additional inspection at the plant site later this year.
Specifically, the NRC will review the corrective actions PG&E has taken regarding a change made to a previous emergency response plan. PG&E self-reported and corrected the change in 2013, and the NRC determined the public was never at risk. The additional inspection is not related to current plant performance.
Helping San Luis Obispo County cope with drought
In a presentation to the NRC and community members at the beginning of the meeting, PG&E representatives shared specific performance information detailing the safe operation of Diablo Canyon in 2014 and 2015. Information on upcoming projects to further safety and reliability at the site, including a planned maintenance and refueling outage this fall, was also provided.
In addition, PG&E shared updates on several ongoing community support initiatives, such as a recently signed agreement with San Luis Obispo County to provide water from Diablo Canyon’s desalination facility for emergency purposes. Under the agreement, PG&E and the county are developing a feasibility study to examine what steps would be involved to connect the desalination facility to existing local water infrastructure.
"We live and work in this community and ensuring its safety and well-being is our highest priority. We look forward to continue working with the county in identifying ways to provide further support during this ongoing water crisis," said PG&E's Halpin.
Seismic hazard re-evaluation
PG&E on Wednesday night also discussed the findings of the seismic hazard assessment recently performed for the plant. The extensive work, which occurred over several years with independent expertise and review, demonstrates the facility can withstand potential earthquakes in the region.
"Diablo Canyon was built at the forefront to withstand earthquakes and other natural events that could occur in our region. The updated seismic hazard assessment is an invaluable examination of the region's earthquake potential and re-confirms Diablo Canyon continues to be seismically safe," said Halpin.
The NRC re-affirmed at the meeting that PG&E is to follow the next step in the seismic hazard re-evaluation process, including examining how plant components required to safely take the facility offline would be affected by the updated seismic hazard evaluation. PG&E and the NRC announced earlier this year that the evaluation, known as a risk assessment, would occur and similar work is being performed at other facilities around the country. PG&E will complete the work and meet the NRC's deadline of June 2017.
About Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Diablo Canyon Power Plant is a nuclear power facility owned and operated by PG&E. Its two units together produce approximately 2,300 net megawatts of carbon-free power. It provides nearly 10 percent of all electricity generated in California, and enough energy to meet the needs of more than three million Northern and Central Californians. Diablo Canyon has a $920 million annual local economic impact and is the largest private employer in San Luis Obispo County.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.