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US panel spots key errors in A-plant's quake safety

Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigators have uncovered what they believe to be potentially critical errors in the design of earthquake safety equipment at Pacific Gas & Electric Company's troubled Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The suspected design errors were discovered Friday during a commission review of the plant's seismic design.

PG&E engineers appear to have underestimated the weight of safety-related equipment supported by reinforced steel braces. The error means the equipment could fall in the event of a major quake.

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As a result of the error, the federal agency may more thoroughly investigate equipment at the power plant.