Sunday, October 17, 2010

PG&E begins using cameras to inspect San Bruno line that failed

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - A new motorized camera system, equipped with tank treads and bright lights, is now monitoring the interior of the pipeline that devastated a San Bruno neighborhood in the San Francisco suburbs.

PG&E Corp. is hoping the specialized video inspection system for pipelines will help it learn more about the natural gas transmission line that exploded killing eight and devastating a neighborhood on Sept. 9.
For just over a week, the utility has been sending two of the motorized camera systems from Canadian company Inuktun into Line 132, a 30-inch pipeline that runs underneath San Bruno’s Crestmoor neighborhood, said PG&E spokesman Joe Molica.

Molica said images from the futuristic-looking camera systems would be shared with local officials and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the probe into the cause of the deadly blast.
"It's all part of our assessment work to assess the condition of the pipeline," Molica said, though he could not say specifically what authorities are looking for.

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