Caption: Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) set a June 2017 deadline for two nuclear power plants to conduct in-depth analyses of their updated earthquake risk.
The NRC is requiring the Columbia nuclear plant in Washington and Diablo Canyon in California to submit their detailed risk analysis by June 30, 2017. NRC continues to examine analysis from Palo Verde in Arizona. If that plant needs to complete its in-depth analysis, it must be done by Dec. 31, 2020.
The seismic submittals showed all three plants’ engineering and construction methods added safety margin beyond their original designs’ anticipated hazards. The sites submitted earthquake hazard information in March as part of the NRC’s response to the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. All three plants are working to comply with NRC’s March 2012 Orders to implement additional safety equipment and enhanced spent fuel pool monitoring, while Columbia is working to comply with a third order that requires hardened venting systems to relieve pressure if an accident occurs.
Columbia will complete its review of potential short-term enhancements by January 2016. The NRC is assessing Diablo Canyon’s and Palo Verde’s information to determine if the plants meet criteria for the short-term review.
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