Santa Barbara County Supervisors urge feds to halt Diablo Canyon re-licensing

Federal regulators are being urged by Santa Barbara County supervisors to halt the re-licensing process for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Supervisors voted Tuesday to send a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking for a halt in the plant’s re-licensing and conduct a comprehensive study into an earthquake fault near the Pacific Gas & Electric power plant.

County emergency services director Michael Harris says the recently discovered fault could generate a magnitude-6.5 quake. The plant is designed to withstand a magnitude-7.5 quake.

Supervisors say they have a responsibility to protect county residents from an unlikely, but possible, emergency at Diablo Canyon.

The Avila Beach nuclear plant is in southern San Luis Obispo County and supervisors there have also objected to re-licensing.