In place of the usual annual public meeting in San Luis Obispo for updates on the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted a remote meeting May 14. But the agency opted to discuss it along with 9 other nuclear power plants in region 10, limiting public input on the Central Coast plant. NRC did the same last year.
The short shrift for the California nuclear power plant comes amid ongoing problems in the main generator at Diablo’s unit 2.
Asked about the abbreviated opportunity, NRC spokesperson Victor Dricks said in a June 7 email, “The generator problems were not safety-related.”
“Given the year-long problem with the Unit 2 main generator—while not on the ‘nuclear’ side of the plant—its failure could trigger an unplanned SCRAM or shutdown,” David Weisman, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility spokesperson, countered. He said NRC’s combined review of 10 nuclear plants in one meeting was “lamentable federal regulatory oversight.”
The 1,150 MW unit 2 has suffered four crashes over several months because of problems in the unit’s electric generator. These all occurred after a $100 million rebuild in 2019.
Until two years ago, previous public meetings in San Luis Obispo involved presentations by the NRC on its inspections and findings of Diablo plant operation, followed by reports on the plant by owner PG&E. That was followed by public comments.