Diablo safety to be discussed

A barrage of requests that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors address safety at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant has led Chairman Adam Hill to set aside time to talk about the issue on Tuesday.

In a news release late Thursday, Hill wrote that the public’s “overwhelming response” to the crisis in Japan has persuaded him that the board needs to say more.

He is not likely to be the only one speaking. Local activists have been sending around an email telling people to come Tuesday and speak out during the public comment period against PG&E’s relicensing of the power plant.

One such “action alert” says “halt licensing now” and is sub-titled “Diablo Canyon/Flying Blind in the Seismic Zone MUST STOP NOW! “IT’S UP TO US.”

The alert’s authors want the board to send letters to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, and “all federal and state representatives and agencies” telling them to stop the re-licensing process “until the 3-D seismic mapping of adjacent fault systems ... is completed and independently reviewed.”

In his news release, Hill noted that the Board of Supervisors sent a letter last year to the NRC asking it to delay re-licensing the power plant until seismic studies have been completed and include a third-party review.

However, that letter went out before the tragedy in Japan. Many local residents want the board to, at a minimum, restate its position.

Hill said he has been meeting with Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, and PG&E senior executives about the plant’s safety.

Capps on Thursday called on the NRC to stay the plant’s license renewal process “until independent, peer-reviewed advanced studies for all onshore and offshore faults in the area are performed and reviewed by a panel of federal and state agency experts.”

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors chambers at the County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo.