PG&E officials consider Diablo Canyon to be perfectly safe, as we have just been informed yet again (“PG&E prods Diablo renewal,” June 29).
That’s what they said Diablo was before they had to retrofit the plant when they discovered the (first) nearby earthquake fault. And when they discovered they’d installed their seismic supports backwards. And immediately after the Fukushima disaster. And before they even began obtaining or analyzing data from a seismic survey of offshore faults — data PG&E still has to figure out how to obtain without devastating the marine environment.
Now we have their report “Economic Benefits of Diablo Canyon Plant,” urging the relicensing of an aging nuclear facility for another 20 years – the time period when it would be at its most dangerous.
This report might look less like naked self-interest and special pleading if it had been titled “Economic Costs and Benefits of Diablo Canyon Plant,” and included an estimate of where the tab for a nuclear mishap at Diablo Canyon would fall on ascale that includes Fukushima’ projected clean-up costs of $250-$500 billion and the estimated $1 trillion-plus in economic damages should a major accident befall the Indian Point nuclear plant.