Senate panel to review quake safety at nuke plants, including California's Diablo Canyon

EnergyAssociated Press

Federal regulators need to reassess earthquake risks at California's last operating nuclear power plant and hold hearings to determine if it's properly accounting for potential threats.

That's according to testimony to be submitted Wednesday in Washington, where a Senate committee has scheduled a hearing on nuclear safety after Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster.

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California's Diablo Canyon plant is located near several earthquake faults.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and owner Pacific Gas and Electric Co. defend its safety.

According to a copy of his remarks, former Republican California Sen. Sam Blakeslee will tell the panel PG&E has downplayed risks.

The Associated Press disclosed in August that a federal expert wanted the NRC to shut down Diablo Canyon until it determines whether the reactors can withstand shaking from nearby faults.

The agency rejected the recommendation.