Monday, March 21, 2011

PG&E Discusses Spent Nuclear Fuel Stored At Humboldt Bay Power Plant

In light of recent events in Japan, I would like to share some information about the Humboldt Bay Power Plant and Generating Station.
The Humboldt Bay Power Plant is in the process of decommissioning.  The spent nuclear fuel stored on site is located in a very secure underground structure.  The Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) project was completed in 2008 and the facilities have been designed to withstand an 8.8 magnitude Cascadia subduction zone earth quake and a tsunami surge between 28 to 43 feet above sea level. The underground vault affords greater seismic stability, greater protection from tsunamis, reduced maintenance, enhanced aesthetics, and uses conductive cooling, making it completely passive, meaning that the facility is able to perform its job without requiring any actions to be taken by plant workers.
At the Humboldt Bay Power Plant we have both the ability to monitor for external radiation and a highly trained radiation protection team at the site. We have two different types of sensors to detect external radiation at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant, air samplers and thermoluminescent dosimeters.  They are located on site as well as throughout Humboldt County.  We are coordinating with the California Department of Public Health and local agencies to provide them with information obtained from the sensors that could be made available to the public.
The Humboldt Bay Generating Station was designed to comply with the requirements for a seismic zone established by the California Building Code.  It was also designed to minimize risk from potential flooding impacts.

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