Supervisor Gibson's concerns about Diablo Canyon seismic surveys echo Blakeslee's

dsneed@thetribunenews.comAugust 10, 2012 

In April, state Sen. Sam Blakeslee expressed concerns about seismic surveys around Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant that mirror concerns San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson has raised.

In a letter to PG&E dated April 27, Blakeslee posed a list of questions about the techniques and equipment the utility plans to use during high-energy offshore earthquake mapping scheduled to begin as early as Oct. 1. Blakeslee is a seismologist.

Notably, the letter questions the use of a smaller academic research vessel rather than a larger private industry vessel, such as those used to look for oil deposits. A larger vessel could tow a bigger array of sensors than the smaller vessel, which could shorten the survey time and yield better data, Blakeslee said in the letter.

The county Board of Supervisors this week approved a letter, written by Gibson, to state officials which outlined similar concerns.

“The supervisors’ concerns are reasonable,” Blakeslee said. “If the site is seismically safe, we need the data to prove it unequivocally, as that is the best protection for maintaining operations and employment for decades to come.”

PG&E has repeatedly defended the use of the smaller vessel, which can get closer to shore than a larger ship. The selection of the smaller vessel was based on feedback from private industry and has been peer reviewed, PG&E has said in many public presentations.

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