Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for relicensing of Diablo Canyon to be halted. She has not.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican whose wide district comes close to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, said Wednesday that PG&E should go forward with its efforts to relicense the plant.
In response to an inquiry from The Tribune, McCarthy wrote that “The ongoing disaster at Fukushima underscores the importance of continually reassessing safety measures at our nuclear power plants.”
However, McCarthy added, he agrees with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which “determined that relicensing should proceed with the current information available for Diablo Canyon.”
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McCarthy added that both customers and the economy need the plant.
“Our region and our state rely on this zero-emission source of electricity to power our economy,” he wrote in an email.
“However, I plan to continue working with the NRC to make certain that the relicensing process ensures strong preventive and redundant systems are in place.”
On Tuesday, three members of the county Board of Supervisors said PG&E should suspend its efforts to relicense the plant until safety can be guaranteed.
The tragedy in Japan has caused county residents to demand a closer look at the plant, one of only two operating in California. At the board meeting, about three dozen residents asked for a temporary or permanent closure of Diablo Canyon.
U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, have asked that the relicensing be stopped until more information can be gathered on seismic risks.
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said the utility, under the guidance of the NRC, “can adequately complete its pending seismic fault study while concurrently going through the license renewal process.”