On Wednesday November 14th, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to deny the permitting of the seismic testing at the Diablo Canyon power plant. According to testimony from those at attendance at the event, this puts a conclusive halt to those plans.
PG&E was specifically told not to bring this project back - that they fail to meet the first, let alone all three, of the required standards for asking for an exemption.
Over 150 people commented at the hearing and Californians can rest assured knowing that their voice was heard on this matter. Apparently the issue will be brought to bear again at San Onofre however - so stay tuned to those issues when they arise some time next year. Congratulations to all who worked so hard on this campaign!
The goal of the seismic imaging project is to attempt to measure the three major earthquake fault lines which run along our coast. The existence of these fault lines, especially after the continuing disaster at Fukushima, Japan, call into question the advisability of maintaining the Diablo Canyon nuclear power facility, operating near Avila.
The proposed testing will do nothing to prevent an earthquake on any of these fault lines. The tests will instead produce a large amount of data about dangers that we cannot avoid when these earthquakes occur.
Here is how the environmental impact report for the project describes it:
“The offshore component of the Project would consist of operating a geophysical survey 29 vessel, its associated survey equipment, and support/monitoring vessels . … The survey would be conducted along the central coast from approximately Cambria to Guadalupe (including marine protected areas around Cambria and elsewhere). … 18 active air guns ... would discharge once every 15 to 20 seconds.”
In other words, huge underwater cannons would blast ear-shattering sounds under the water in an area from Guadalupe to Marin County. (These same measures are used to search for offshore oil reserves — coincidence?)
The environmental impact report indicates these tests would kill or injure marine mammals, including seals, dolphins, whales and otters. They could make them go deaf which would mean a lingering death. Already depleted fishing resources would be impacted. Seabirds would be affected as well, with little or no way of mitigating the impacts. Migratory birds would be affected as the tests would go on 24 hours a day and lights at night would be required. Air quality would be impacted and the project would contribute to climate change.
The ocean is our most precious resource. If the life of the ocean does not matter then neither do our lives. Some few persons stand to make lots of money from this outrageous project. PG&E will pass on the costs to us, the consumers. We and all life in the ocean and the land around us stand to lose. And for what?
The project will not prevent the next earthquake. And if it happens and Diablo crashes, so do we. Think of the economic impact of such a disaster. A recent issue of The Economist has on its front cover a statement that says the dream of nuclear power has become a nightmare. It is time to put our resources into safe energy and abandon nuclear power. Please sign this petition.
FOR LATEST INFORMATION PLEASE GO TO STOP THE DIABLO CANYON SEISMIC TESTING PROJECT AT
Seismic testing protest video in Morro Bay
Photo by Mike Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com