PG&E receives initial feedback on Diablo Canyon seismic safety assessment

Economic study details $2 billion impact from plant sales, purchases and payrolls

April 28, 2015

Avila Beach, Calif. - During a public Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) meeting today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) experts presented findings on the seismic hazard assessment recently performed for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The extensive work, performed over several years with independent expertise and review, demonstrates the plant can withstand potential earthquakes in the region.

At the meeting, the NRC noted that no immediate safety issues were identified in their review of the new hazard assessment and that Diablo Canyon remains safe to operate. The agency also shared how it will continue to review the assessment and the next steps that PG&E will take under the agency's regulatory process.

"Diablo Canyon is a safe, clean, reliable and vital energy resource for California and PG&E's customers. Safety comes first in everything we do, which is why the facility was built 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 Ed Halpin, PG&E's Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer.

"Even after the NRC completes its evaluation of the seismic hazard update, PG&E will continue its ongoing seismic research efforts to assure the safety of the plant and our surrounding communities," added Halpin.

Using the NRC's Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee (SSHAC) process, independent experts publically re-evaluated existing and new seismic information, including data acquired during the advanced seismic studies recently performed near Diablo Canyon, to re-evaluate how earthquakes could potentially impact the facility. This process included examining the probability of earthquakes occurring on individual and multiple geologic faults.

As part of the meeting, the NRC reviewed why PG&E and other U.S. nuclear power plants were asked to update their seismic hazard assessments. The federal agency also communicated that the next steps in the agency's review process will soon be issued to PG&E, which includes when and how to perform additional risk evaluations. The NRC will use this information from Diablo Canyon and other U.S. plants to determine if additional regulatory actions are needed in the industry to further enhance seismic safety.

NRC Hazards Assessment Background

As part of its response to the Fukushima event in Japan in 2011, the NRC directed all U.S. commercial nuclear power plants to perform updated assessments of the seismic and flooding hazards for their facilities. Plants located in the eastern and Central U.S. completed such analyses and provided them to the NRC in 2014. Western plants, including Diablo Canyon, were directed to complete and submit their assessments by March 2015.

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 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 and