UPDATE: The Coastal Commission rejected PG&E’s proposal and said they didn’t need to come back to try again.
- Coastal Commissioner Dayna Bochco said PG&E explained what the soundwaves would do. “They did convince me that there is a target there, 7 or 8 miles below the ocean, that would give them more information about the Hosgri Fault that maybe dips down under the plant, maybe not,” she said. But Bochco said when she asked if finding the fault line would prove definitively that the nuclear plant was safe, she was told it was highly unlikely. “And if it’s not going to tell you, then why am I doing this to the ocean?” she asked.
- Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography had originally planned to begin seismic testing off San Onofre nuclear power plant this year. Because the plant is offline, its operator, Southern California Edison, had postponed that study. The Coastal Commission’s decision makes it unlikely the testing will happen any time soon. KPBS 11/14/2012
The California Coastal Commission meets Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at 9:00 am in Santa Monica to address PG&E’s proposed high-energy seismic surveys. Some of the issues for PG&E are similar to the seismic survey issues for San Onofre and many of the Commission’s findings may apply to both nuclear power plants. Seismic surveys are planned for San Onofre this year by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at U.C. San Diego.Meeting Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium – East Wing 1855 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 (415) 407-3211 (Phone number will only be in service when the meeting is in session)
Please attend this meeting or contact the Commissioners and urge them to support the Coastal Commission staff recommendations to deny PG&E’s request. Tell the Commissioners the surveys are unnecessary and harmful.
- Sufficient seismic data exists to know both Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear power plants are already at risk for earthquake damage from existing faults near the plants.
- USGS says no scientist can predict the size of an earthquake and both California nuclear plants already sit near major earthquake faults.
- “The information about how big an earthquake’s going to be may not be in the earth’s crust BEFORE the earthquake begins”, says USGS Pasadena seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones in her 9/2/2012 ABC interview.
- Diablo Canyon (as well as San Onofre) are out of compliance with the once-through cooling requirement. It will cost billions of dollars to comply with the once-through cooling requirements, so this issue should be addressed before considering the unnecessary seismic surveys.
- California has 40% excess power without California’s nuclear power plants. According to California’s electric grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (ISO):
- Diablo Canyon is not needed for energy or voltage support, so there is no need to relicense this plant.
- The ISO has made preparations for another year without San Onofre. Both reactors have been off-line since January 31st, 2012 due to a radiation leak and decades of premature wear in newly installed defective steam generators.
- The sonic blasts will maim and kill large numbers of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, and other marine life with high sonic sounds.
- See Coastal Commission staff recommendations.
- “Each of these underwater blasts will be at the volume level of a shock wave, that will instantly deafen, maim and possibly kill everything unfortunate enough to be in its path. A 240 dB blast is reportedly like being one foot away from the mouth of a large cannon. For a human, your ears, or what’s left of your ears, would probably never stop ringing. The consequences of experiencing this level of sound can only be presumed to be immediate and permanent deafness – if not worse. For sea life, beyond just broken eardrums, the transfer of low-frequency shock waves from water-air-water causes hemorrhaging of lungs and air-sacks, and will result in the death of marine mammals – whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions and otters – and fish. Independent journalist Dave Gurney, noyonews.net
- “… seismic testing is a threat not only to whales, but to all of us, because it allows PG&E to delay removal of the nuclear plant from the earthquake fault.” Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing
Please urge California state representatives to help ensure approval is denied for these unnecessary studies.
- Coastal Commission Contact Information
- Senator Barbara Boxer at 202-224-3553
- Contact other state elected officials, including Governor Brown
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT. Public comments will be heard at 9:00 am for items not on the agenda, for no more than 30 minutes. For those unable to attend the early comment period, there will be additional comment time available later in the day.
COASTAL PERMIT APPLICATIONS. The Commission may vote at the conclusion of the public hearing, or it may continue the matter to a subsequent meeting. Time limits are determined by the Chair but generally are 15 minutes combined total time per side. The applicant may reserve some time for rebuttal after the opponents speak.
Agenda Item 13. COASTAL PERMIT APPLICATIONS. See AGENDA CATEGORIES. Attention: Items appearing in this section of the agenda may be moved to the Consent Calendar for this area by the Executive Director when, prior to taking up the Consent Calendar, staff and the applicant are in agreement on the staff recommendation. If an item is moved to the Consent Calendar it will be processed in the same manner as other Consent Calendar items (See AGENDA CATEGORIES) except that if that item is subsequently removed from the Consent Calendar by a vote of three or more commissioners, the item will be acted upon at the meeting in the order in which it originally appears on this Meeting Notice and in the manner Coastal Permit Applications are processed. The purpose of this procedural change is to expedite the Commission’s coastal development permit process.
a. Application No. E-11-029 (Taylor Mariculture, Humboldt Co.) Application of Taylor Mariculture to establish a shellfish seed cultivation operation on an existing pier facility at Arcata Bay, Humboldt County. (CT-SF)
b. Application No. E-12-005 and CC-027-12 (Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Luis Obispo Co.) Application of PG&E to conduct a high energy three-dimensional geophysical survey employing use of air guns, hydrophones, and geophones in state and federal waters offshore San Luis Obispo County. (CT-SF)
- PG&E, USGS disagree on Diablo Canyon fault danger, San Francisco Chronicle 7/17/2011
- Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing (Facebook).
- SanLuisObispo.com seismic survey articles
- Final Environmental Impact Report (State Lands Commission)
- Earthquake Risks – SanOnofreSafety.org
- Boom, Baby, Boom: The Environmental Impacts of Seismic Surveys www.nrdc.org
- Pierce Brosnan: Don’t Let the Belugas Go Silent (video on seismic survey impact)
- Impacts of Seismic Surveys on Marine Mammals and Fish – AMCC
- PG&E’s Seismic Information
- Live marine traffic (www.marinetraffic.com) (search for vessel “Pacific Star”)
- CAL-SPAN.ORG – web streaming of California State meetings
- CA Coastal Commission 9/14/2012 – Diablo Canyon and San Onofre seismic surveys (video discussion starts at minute 21)
- Noyo News summary of 9/14/2012 Coastal Commission seismic surveys discussion
- Offshore seismic surveys may impair hearing and cause ear damage in marine fish and mammals FOE Norway 4/2007