Environment & Science

Emergency plan gap cited at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

File photo showing an aerial view of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant which sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California on March 17, 2011.
File photo showing an aerial view of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant which sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California on March 17, 2011.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

California's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant could be hit with a federal violation because its emergency plan failed for eight years to include instructions required for boats and ships 5-to-10 miles off the coast.

But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says there was no safety concern, because the Coast Guard and local governments would have ordered adequate steps for local ocean traffic if a nuclear emergency occurred at the seaside plant near San Luis Obispo.

In documents released Thursday, the NRC says the company without permission removed the instructions in November 2005, which decreased the emergency plan's effectiveness.

Owner Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says it identified and fixed what it termed the "omission" in late 2013 and notified the NRC.

The apparent violation is being considered for escalated enforcement action.