Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant operated safely in 2016, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found, even after being cited for a broken switch in December.
The federal oversight agency examines the power plant each year and issues a report card to PG&E detailing how safely it operated in the year prior.
In 2016, the NRC gave the the plant’s Unit 1 nuclear reactor the highest performance rating possible because all inspection findings had a “very low” risk to public health and safety and all performance indicators were good.
Unit 2, however, was bumped down to the second highest performance rating, largely because of a broken switch that left one aspect of the reactor cooling system temporarily inoperable last year.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Tribune
The NRC issued a “white finding” in December, claiming the plant failed to adequately maintain an aspect of its emergency core cooling system, resulting in a low-to-moderate safety risk. The NRC evaluates regulatory performance at nuclear plants by color-coding inspection findings as green, white, yellow or red in order of increasing safety significance.
The switch was fixed, and operations resumed as normal.
“Diablo Canyon is a safe, clean and reliable energy resource for our customers and our state,” said Ed Halpin, PG&E senior vice president of generation and chief nuclear officer. “The NRC’s assessment places Diablo Canyon among the higher performing plants in the U.S. nuclear industry.”