H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Dec 17, 2010 2:44 AM by Danielle Lerner

Dozens attend PG&E open house

Dozens of people turned out in San Luis Obispo Thursday night to learn more about the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Pacific Gas and Electric is reaching out to the community through a series of open houses. The extra effort comes as it tries to extend the plant's operating license by 20 years.

That means the licenses for two nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon would not expire until 2044 and 2045.

Some people say they welcomed the opportunity to learn more about their nuclear neighbor.

Dozens of people visited PG&E's Energy Education Center hoping to learn a little more about Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

"It's always a little scary when you don't know because it's an unknown," said Betty Frye, who lies in Morro Bay. "You haven't had an accident here, you don't know what the potential problem could be."

Several PG&E representatives were on hand during Thursday's open house to try and ease some of those fears.

"They can come and ask their questions, raise their concerns, have a dialogue," said Jim Becker, vice president of the plant.

One of those concerns is a newly-discovered fault line located just offshore of the plant.

"Especially with California being seismic, wanting to know what affects that might have on the plant," said Michael Frye who lives in Morro Bay.

A series of studies focusing on the fault should be completed by 2013. Another issue surrounding the plant is a controversial application to extend its operating license by another 20 years. We asked if that was the reason behind the recent outreach.

"I'd say that's one of the reasons for doing it, certainly," said Becker, "but you know there's others as well if folks have concerns about seismic issues that would be one, or security at the plant, you know whatever it is."

PG&E says it hopes to hold at least three or four open houses next year at locations throughout San Luis Obispo County.

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