Citing federal regulatory lessons emerging from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdowns, environmental groups petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Aug. 11 to stop Diablo Canyon\u2019s relicensing effort. In a related development, 26 environmental groups filed federal petitions the same day for the NRC to heed its Japan Task Force recommendations to increase safety requirements for domestic power plants. The National Environmental Policy Act \u201crequires that agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions before they are taken,\u201d wrote San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace in its petition to halt the federal process to extend Diablo\u2019s operating licenses for an extra 20 years beyond their original 40-year period. The group cites \u201cnew and significant information\u201d stemming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdowns that render current information \u201cinadequate.\u201d PG&E did not respond to requests for comments by press time. PG&E has an ongoing $16.75 million seismic investigation for the nuclear plant. The NRC granted the utility\u2019s request to include whatever data is discovered during that investigation to be included in its relicensing request. The commission did not delay the relicensing process in light of the seismic studies. With its close proximity to earthquake faults, Diablo became a lightning rod for Congressional queries into future safety thresholds after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns. Another California nuclear facility, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, is also near earthquake faults, but not as close as Diablo. The still-radioactive, but shuttered, Humboldt Bay nuclear plant sits within a half mile of several earthquake faults. In a related move, the chair of the commission formally weighed in on the task force\u2019s recommendations to harden the nation\u2019s nukes, as well as revamp regulatory policy Aug. 10. Greg Jaczko voted to implement NRC staff\u2019s recommendations. \u201cBased on our experience and the lessons we can draw from Fukushima today, there appears to be good reason to have all licensees reevaluate seismic and flooding design basis analyses and if necessary, make improvements,\u201d noted Jaczko. That brings a split in federal nuclear regulation. Three of five commissioners formally voted to redo staff\u2019s advice--basically against the task force\u2019s recommendations. One has yet to weigh in on the matter, but in public comments has supported strengthening nuclear plants\u2019 engineering in the wake of potential natural disasters.