Bruce Gibson will join Diablo Canyon science review

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson will join a panel of scientists who will review seismic studies being done on faults around Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Last week, an administrative law judge with the California Public Utilities Commission approved a request by the county to have a representative on the Diablo Canyon Independent Peer Review Panel.

Gibson holds a doctorate in geophysics and has published research in seismic reflection survey techniques, including three-dimensional imaging like the kind to be used in the Diablo Canyon work.

“I think it’s crucial that the upcoming seismic studies are planned to fully access the complex geology of this area,” Gibson said. “Likewise, when the studies are complete, the public deserves to know that the conclusions drawn have been reviewed by independent experts.”

PG&E has spent $16.7 million on the studies already and has applied to the Public Utilities Commission to spend $47 million more, primarily on high-energy offshore surveys that are scheduled to begin late next year.

The utility has already conducted onshore seismic surveys and low-energy offshore surveys.

The goal is to get a better idea of how powerful an earthquake the faults around Diablo Canyon could produce. The main faults examined in the studies are the Hosgri, San Simeon and Shoreline.

In addition to Gibson, the Independent Peer Review Panel consists of scientists from the state Energy Commission, Geological Survey, Coastal Commission and Seismic Safety Commission. It was formed in August 2010.