A nuclear power plant and an active earthquake fault are two things that should never go together.
Yet San Luis Obispo County on California’s Central Coast is home to both the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which generates energy to meet the needs of more than 3 million Californians, and to several earthquake faults. These active and inactive faults –some of which were discovered as recently as 2008—vary in size and occur both onshore and offshore. The rugged and beautiful San Luis Obispo coast also supports an amazing abundance and diversity of ocean wildlife.
In light of last year’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which triggered a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, there is understandable and growing concern about the safety of Diablo Canyon and potential impacts of a major earthquake to the power plant, adjacent coastal communities and to ocean life.