Capps presses nuclear chairman about Diablo relicensing

Rep. Lois Capps had a testy exchange with the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Wednesday involving the issue of relicensing Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Capps, the Santa Barbara Democrat who represents coastal areas of San Luis Obispo County, questioned NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She asked about when she could expect a reply to her request that the NRC delay processing the relicensing request made by PG&E, which owns and operates Diablo Canyon.

The NRC oversees nuclear plants operating in America.

The following exchange occurred between Capps and Jaczko, according to her staff, who released part of the hearing transcript:

Capps: Chairman (Jaczko), it has been over a month since I requested the NRC to stay the license renewal application for Diablo Canyon and to work with California oversight experts to review new seismic information and mapping. Can you explain why the NRC has not answered my request?

Jaczko: We currently have in front of the commission broad requests in these formal licensing hearings for the commission to take an action similar to the action you’ve requested.

Capps: Excuse me, when can I and my constituents expect an answer to my letter?

Jaczko: The commission is working to try and get this issue resolved but I expect it’s going to be at least a month before we’ll have some resolution on that broader question of the hearing process, but we certainly have it in front of us and we are working to give you a good answer.

Capps: Thank you.