Report: “Near Miss” At Diablo Canyon Nuclear

The nuclear crisis in Japan has led to a lot of scrutiny of plants here in the United States and it may be warranted.

A new report by the watchdog group, Union of Concerned Scientists, found 14 near misses at U.S. nuclear plants according to the San Francisco Chronicle. One of the plants on the list, the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo.

The report found it took plant operators 18 months to realize a system to pump water into one of the reactors during an emergency was not working. It was apparently disabled by a plant engineer.

The water is there to make sure the reactor does not overheat. Loss of water can lead to at least a partial meltdown of the reactor.

Operators at the plant say engineers were trying to fix another issue and the work around caused the problem. The trouble was noticed during a test in October 2009.

PG&E wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the licenses of Diablo Canyon's twin reactors past their expiration dates of 2024 to 2025. Mothers for Peace is against the move.

Earlier this week, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein called on the NRC to immediately perform safety inspections at California's two commercial nuclear plants (Diablo Canyon and San Clemente).

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