First up on this list should be the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in San Luis Obismo, CA.
Diablo Canyon was originally designed to withstand a 6.75 magnitude earthquake from four faults, including the nearby San Andreas and Hosgri faults., but was later upgraded to withstand a 7.5 magnitude quake. It has seismic monitoring and safety systems, designed to shut it down promptly in the event of significant ground motion.
Pacific Gas & Electric Company went through six years of hearings, referenda and litigation to have the Diablo Canyon plant approved. A principal concern about the plant is whether it can be sufficiently earthquake-proof. The site was deemed safe when construction started in 1968.
However, by the time of the plant’s completion in 1973, a seismic fault, the Hosgri fault, had been discovered several miles offshore. This fault had a 7.1 magnitude quake 10 miles offshore on November 4, 1927, and thus was capable of generating forces equivalent to approximately 1/16 of those felt in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The company updated its plans and added structural supports designed to reinforce stability in case of earthquake. In September 1981, PG&E discovered that a single set of blueprints was used for these structural supports; workers were supposed to have reversed the plans when switching to the second reactor, but did not. Nonetheless, on March 19, 1982 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decided not to review its 1978 decision approving the plant’s safety, despite these and other design errors.
The opening of Diablo Canyon was controversial from the start:
In 1981, on the central coast of California, tens of thousands of residents from all over California protested against the opening of the Diablo Nuclear Power Plant. The central reason for the massive demonstrations that lasted for weeks, including peaceful arrests (I know, I was there) is that the plant was stupidly built on the San Andreas Earthquake Fault. Residents were opposed to the plans from the get-go, but predictably PG&E won and the majority of the people could do nothing about it.
Diablo Canyon was granted a license to operate even though they did not have an Earthquake Response Plan.
PG&E’s (Pacific Gas & Electric) safety record has been less than sterling in other areas of its operation. PG&E’s slow response to the smell of gas leaking lead to a massive explosion September 9, 2010 in the town of San Bruno California that caused at least 4 deaths and 28 casualties. The investigation in that event is ongoing. Pacific Gas and Electric is no stranger to litigation because of unsafe business practices. In 1994 an investigation by Erin Brockovich led to the biggest settlement on record for civil class action suit. Pacific Gas and Electric had dumped 370 million gallons of cancer-causing chemicals into unlined ponds in Hinkley, California.
And Diablo Canyon has already been sited for safety violations:
An SIT was sent to the Pacific Gas & Electric plant when operators could not open valves that provide emergency cooling water to the reactor core and containment vessel. A previous misguided repair was found responsible for the problem, and it was determined that the reactor operated nearly 18 months with vital emergency systems disabled.
For these reasons alone, Diablo Canyon should be first on anyone’s list for a safety review. When one reviews the astrology of Diablo Canyon the alarm meter goes right to the top.Diablo Canyon has two nuclear reactors commissioned less that a year within each other. The first one became operational on May 7, 1985. While the Sun/Saturn opposition in the natal chart is not comforting, it is not especially alarming. The Sun’s inconjunct to Uranus is not either, showing a dismissal of unusual events as normal operating procedure. But with Jupiter making an easy energetic connection, the trine, problems do seem to be handled. Diablo Canyon #2 however shows a different story. The Sun, Mercury and Venus sit in a stellium in challenge aspect to natal Mars conjunct Uranus. Mars and Uranus combinations indicate explosions, and here it sits in the natal chart of a nuclear reactor. Yikes! Now Uranus as is is in the sky (transiting) makes a challenge aspects to natal Mars/Uranus combination. In the life cycle of human, this means a radical breakdown in the life of the native. Natal Venus is in challenge aspect to the planet of illusion Neptune, which is being visited by the planet of nuclear processes, Pluto. Combine all that with transiting Mars crossing the ascendant of the Sunrise natal chart and you’ve got an accident waiting to happen.
Considering that it was Plant #2 that had the problems with the badly repaired cooling system, you would think that someone would take the hint. In any case Nuclear Regulatory Commission, its time to get someone out there to check out Diablo Canyon before we have our own Fukushima to deal with.
Photo published under a Creative Commons License for Flickr.