25th Annual Report by the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee, July 1, 2014—June 30, 2015
Preface | Executive Summary
Volume I TOC | Volume II TOC | PG&E Response | Contact the DCISC
25th Annual Report, Volume II, Exhibit B12, Minutes of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee May 14, 2015 Public Meeting (Approved at the June 15, 2015 Public Meeting)
Thursday, May 14, 2015, Hotel Durant, 2800 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, California
Notice of Meeting
A legal notice of the public meeting was published in The Tribune, a San Luis Obispo County newspaper of general circulation, and mailed to the media and those persons on the Committee’s service list. The legal notice and meeting agenda were also posted on the Committee’s website at www.dcisc.org.
I Call to Order–Roll Call
The May 14, 2015, public meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC) was called to order by Committee Chair Dr. Per F. Peterson at 10:00 A.M. in the Boardroom Conference Room at the Hotel Durant in Berkeley, California. A dial-in, toll-free, telephone number providing conference call capability for members of the public was published in the notice of meeting and the agenda and on the Committee’s website. Dr. Peterson observed the meeting was also being recorded and that a video would subsequently be available on the DCISC website.
- Committee Member Robert J. Budnitz
- Committee Member Per F. Peterson
- Committee Member Peter Lam
Three members of the public were recognized on the conference telephone line and welcomed to the meeting including Ms. Annie Aguiniga with the office of State Senator William Monning in San Luis Obispo, California, Mr. Don Eichelberger with the Abalone Alliance Safe Energy Clearing House, and Ms. Denise Righetti with the office of the DCISC Legal Counsel.
II Establishment of a Quorum
Dr. Peterson reported that with two members in attendance a quorum was established for this meeting. Dr. Peterson reported Dr. Lam was unable to attend or to join by conference call as he is traveling in Asia. In attendance also was Mr. Robert Rathie of the office of the DCISC Legal Counsel. Dr. Peterson stated the agenda for this meeting includes a single item concerning approval of an Agreement with Structural Integrity Associates, Inc.
III Action Item
Consideration of approval of an Agreement with Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. for Dr. Robert T. Sewell’s services to review and provide a report setting forth his technical opinion, assessment, and evaluation concerning the hazard at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant site and environs from tsunamis.
Dr. Peterson recognized Dr. Budnitz to provide an introduction for this item.
Dr. Budnitz stated the DCISC has been concerned with the question about whether tsunamis pose a serious safety threat to the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) for a very long time and that on March 11, 2015, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) submitted a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in response to the NRC’s request for information and direction that PG&E perform further analysis of the tsunami hazard at the site of DCPP. Dr. Budnitz reported PG&E’s report is a public document. He stated the PG&E report updates the understanding of the tsunami hazard and includes the conclusion that although the hazard from tsunamis is different than PG&E initially believed, DCPP remains adequately safe against tsunamis. The NRC is reviewing PG&E’s report as is the DCISC. However, the DCISC Members and Technical Consultants do not have sufficient technical expertise to do as thorough a review as is necessary and accordingly made a decision to consider engaging an outside consultant.
Dr. Budnitz reported that in June of 2014 the DCISC learned from a member of the public during a public meeting that in 2003 Dr. Robert T. Sewell had undertaken an independent analysis and published a study on the tsunami hazard at DCPP but that study, which had been submitted to the NRC, was not publicly available. In response to this information the DCISC filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of Dr. Sewell’s 2003 study and in response the NRC released the study in November 2014. The 2003 study is now a public document and available to anyone to review upon request. Dr. Budnitz stated the conclusions in the 2003 study were based upon much more limited information than is now available and the study concluded that the hazard at DCPP from tsunamis was greater than PG&E believed in 2003 or previously when the plant was designed. Dr. Budnitz observed with the release of the 2015 report by PG&E there are now offshore data, advanced modeling information, and bathymetry studies available which contribute to the 2015 analysis. The DCISC concluded accordingly that the best way to advance its understanding of this matter would be to engage Dr. Sewell, an acknowledged expert in tsunamis, as a consultant to revisit his 2003 study in light of this new information and any other information, such as that developed at analogous sites, of which Dr. Sewell is aware in his professional capacity. Dr. Sewell’s task will be to conduct a review, provide a report, and if appropriate prepare and make a presentation at a future DCISC public meeting, possibly at the October 21–22, 2015 regularly scheduled public meeting in Avila Beach. California. In this effort the DCISC will interact and conduct fact-finding with Dr. Sewell and Dr. Budnitz would serve as the DCISC technical lead for the work. Dr. Peterson remarked that one of the specific technical issues for Dr. Sewell’s assignment relates to submarine landslides. Dr. Peterson stated there are two major sources of tsunamis which are of concern with reference to DCPP. The first is initiated by earthquakes, with the faults in proximity to DCPP which data indicates have a limited capacity for generation of tsunamis due to their characterization as slip-strike faults, with the greatest danger from tsunami-generated earthquakes being from earthquakes generated by subduction type faults which are located much farther to the north of DCPP. Dr. Peterson stated there is paleogeologic evidence of very severe tsunamis in the States of Washington and Alaska which if repeated could propagate down the coastline to Central California. Dr. Peterson observed that the basis for estimating the size of such tsunamis was relatively firm. However, there is the potential that submarine landslides could also generate tsunamis and this forms a major element of the 2015 report related to the potential size and quantity of sediment that might move and its position and the direction the material might move with respect to the location of DCPP. He reported that this will be a principal focus of Dr. Sewell’s assessment for the DCISC. Dr. Peterson stated that Dr. Sewell will also be asked to assess the potential run-up distances, and impact on the local area near DCPP including the potential for an impact on DCPP plant access and emergency response, particularly around Morro Bay and Avila Beach, California.
Dr. Budnitz reported that distant tsunamis which might arise from an earthquake in the vicinity of Alaska or Chile are addressed by the current tsunami design basis for DCPP. He remarked that the plant was not originally designed for a tsunami arising from a local subsurface landslide or similar scenario. Dr. Budnitz reported that PG&E has concluded that DCPP is adequately designed for the more distant scenarios but that the effects of a locally generated tsunami were not considered in the 1970's. Dr. Budnitz observed that PG&E has been studying tsunamis for five or six years and has a very extensive program and is utilizing competent personnel in its efforts.
Mr. Don Eichelberger, who joined by telephone, was recognized. Mr. Eichelberger stated he was fully in support of learning more about the tsunami threat at DCPP in light of what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. He stated he had respect for Dr. Sewell’s expertise and the fact that Dr. Sewell has been a pioneer in studying this issue relative to DCPP. Mr. Eichelberger encouraged the DCISC to adopt the proposal.
Dr. Peterson reported that Dr. Lam previously expressed his support for engaging Dr. Sewell.
On a motion by Dr. Budnitz, seconded by Dr. Peterson, the DCISC approved entering into an Agreement with Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., to provide for the services of Dr. Robert T. Sewell.
IV Public Comments and Communications
Dr. Peterson invited any members of the public to address the Committee on matters not on the agenda for this public meeting.
Mr. Don Eichelberger of the Abalone Alliance Safe Energy Clearing House was recognized. Mr. Eichelberger stated he was surprised that the DCISC held this meeting in Berkeley, California, rather than in the San Luis Obispo area. Dr. Budnitz stated that this was a short agenda and, in the judgment of the Members, a noncontroversial issue and so the meeting was held in Berkeley for purposes of convenience, as both Dr. Peterson and Dr. Budnitz live and work in the area. Dr. Budnitz reported that in accordance with its mandate to conduct public outreach in the area of DCPP the DCISC will hold its next regularly scheduled public meeting on June 16–17, 2015, in Avila Beach, California. Mr. Eichelberger stated he appreciated that the DCISC held this meeting in Northern California where he resides as it demonstrates that the concerns of residents who reside to the north of DCPP are also being taken into account by the DCISC. Dr. Peterson observed that conservation of financial resources was also a factor in the decision to hold this meeting in Berkeley and that the DCISC’s activities are funded by the PG&E ratepayers through a rate-making process mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
V Adjournment of Public Meeting
Dr. Peterson thanked Mr. Rathie for his work in making arrangements for this public meeting which concerned a matter which was too important to allow action to be deferred until the date of the next regularly scheduled public meeting. There being no further business, the Chair also thanked those present and participating by telephone and he then adjourned the eightieth public meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee at 10:25 A.M.