In-Focus: Nuclear – Earthquake felt in Diablo Canyon control room – Fukushima upgrades continue at US nuclear sites

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Fukushima upgrades continue at Byron nuclear power plant

“We did a lot of different walk downs for equipment to ensure reliability of things we had,” said Exelon Generation Byron Station representative Paul Dempsey. “We also purchased other kinds of equipment that we could move into areas if needed if we have some sort of loss of power event to the plant. Other things that we continue to work on in response to Fukushima event.”

“In response to the Fukushima event, we continue to do a lot of work here,” said Dempsey. “Certain kinds of walk throughs we do to check equipment.  Also looking at purchasing more equipment that we can have portable to bring onsite in case we would have like a loss of power event.”

Source: CBS 23 WFIR

Source: NBC 13 WREX

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Earthquake felt in Diablo Canyon control room

The US Geological Survey says a 5.3 magnitude earthquake centered near King City hit just before midnight last night.  The USGS survey shows North San Luis Obispo County felt the strongest vibrations.

The earthquake was felt 90 miles away at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant where PG&E workers declared an unusual event at the plant.

“We did feel slight ground motions in the control room around midnight,” Blair Jones, PG&E spokesperson, said.  “Both units continue to operate safely and at 100% power. There were no impacts on our site.” Jones said.

In the heart of earthquake country, Diablo Canyon could potentially feel shakes from four different fault lines.

The design limits for Diablo Canyon buildings are based off of the potential earthquake from the nearby Hosgri fault, which lies only a few miles offshore, and are designed to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5. Geologists say the Hosgri fault could produce an earthquake as strong as 7.5.

Another nearby fault called the ‘Shoreline fault’, is an offshore fault which was publicly identified in 2008.  Analysis from a 2011 on-site visit and available information indicates that earthquakes from the Shoreline fault could also potentially generate ground motion which would test Diablo Canyon’s existing design limits, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in its report.

PG&E is performing a $64 million seismic research project, which was mandated by the state legislature, and will be using three-dimensional seismic tests to further investigate the hazards posed by potential earthquakes near the plant.

Source: Bloomberg

Source: NBC 6 KSBY

Source: Reuters

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