Yesterday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled on a request by Friends of the Earth (FOE) for a hearing on seismic issues related to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. The Commission, with Commissioner Svinicki dissenting in part, referred to an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) the limited question of whether the NRC granted Diablo Canyon a de facto license amendment allowing the plant to operate outside of its licensed authority.

The Commission denied the portion of FOE’s request regarding the operational safety and shut-down of Diablo Canyon and referred those matters to the NRC Executive Director for Operations. The Commission directed the ASLB to rule on the hearing request within 140 days. Commissioner Svinicki disagreed with referring the matter to the ASLB and instead would have denied FOE’s requests. PG&E briefed this issue to the Commission in October 2014; its position on the matter can be found here.