Diablo Safety Committee considers plant's cooling system, water concerns

Oct 14, 2014

PG&E's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant on the San Luis Obispo County coast.
Credit Flickr/Tracey Adams

The Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee is scheduled to conclude its two days of public meetings in Avila Beach on Wednesday, starting with a tour of the power plant itself.

A big topic on the agenda for this round of public comment was the committee's position on the nuclear power plant's cooling methods. Members heard hours of public comment Tuesday afternoon, including a presentation by Bill Powers, an engineering consultant with Friends of the Earth. 

The committee is preparing to make recommendations to the California State Water Board by early November regarding the cooling system. It's known as Once Through Cooling (OTC) and many speaking during the public comment period expressed their concern over how the system affects the environment surrounding the plant.

PG&E says it draws 2.5 billion gallons of water from the Pacific Ocean each day for OTC.

Proposed cooling towers are also under consideration as an alternative to the current system but are years away from any possible construction.