Whales Not Nukes – Nix Diablo Sonic Testing

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Impact area for proposed Diablo sonic testing - Friends of the Earth

Videos of Diablo Sonic Testing Workship
Following, for your viewing convenience, are segments of the recent workshop on the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) proposed plans to conduct seismic testing off the Diablo Canyon Nuclear plant on the California coast. Recent news reports are also included.

PG&E claims the sonic testing is necessary to map the earthquake faults on which the plant is built.

Opponents of the project say the expensive tests – for which PG&E ratepayers would be charged – are not only unnecessary, since the faults are already adequately mapped, but would kill thousands of sea creatures like whales, dolphins, seals and fish in the testing area.

In the wake of the on-going Fukushima disaster at a nuclear plant built – like Diablo Canyon – on earthquake faults in a tsunami zone, the Nuclear Free California Movement is calling for the permanent shutdown of the state’s remaining nuclear reactors at both Diablo Canyon and San Onofre. The latter, which is also built on earthquake faults in a tsumami zone, is currently shut down after two new multi-million dollar steam generators both failed.

In the workshop, held Sept. 24, 2012 by the California Department of Fish and Game PG&E, state and federal agencies and a long line of citizens presented their views on the issue.

We have downloaded and re-posted the long public meeting in 6 segments for ease of viewing and to encourage wider public awareness of this important issue. The full meeting is viewable at: https://www.cal-span.org/cgi-bin/media.pl?folder=CFG

The issue is slated to go before the State Fish and Game Commission at its Sacramento
meeting, set for Oct. 3-4 and the Coastal Commission is slated to hear the matter at its October meetings, set for Oct. 10-12 in Oceanside.

Following the video clips are links to recent news coverage of the growing public awareness, outrage and opposition to PG&E’s latest wacko caper, and what you can do to get involved. Scroll on down…

Diablo Seismic Testing – Pt. 1 – Intro. & Calif. Lands Commission Environmental Impact Report

Diablo Seismic Testing – Pt. 2 – Fish & Game Staff Report

Diablo Seismic Testing – Pt. 3 – Federal Agencies’ Reports

Diablo Seismic Testing – Pt. 4 – PG&E Presentation

Diablo Seismic Testing – Pt. 5 – Public Comment

Diablo Seismic Testing – Pt. 6 – Q&A

Links to Recent News Reports

Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM PDT
Opposition to Diablo Canyon seismic testing plan builds momentum

The outrage over the State Lands Commission’s decision to allow seismic testing off the Central Coast, a project that will kill whales, dolphins, fish and marine life, is mushrooming throughout California.

The decision occurs at a time when humpback and blue whales have appeared in big numbers off the California coast to feed on krill. Tourists from around the planet have descended on Monterey Bay and the Central Coast to catch a glimpse of the iconic marine mammals from shore and on whale watching vessels.

Over 40 environmental activists, fishermen and tribal members from the Central Coast and North Coast converged on the Commission meeting in Sacramento on August 20 to oppose a plan that would effectively “erase” marine life in a state marine reserve created under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

… Action Alert: Take action now to stop seismic testing!
Meanwhile, Joey Racano of the Ocean Outfall Group and Stop The Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing has issued an urgent action alert to stop the killing of whales and other marine life in a state marine reserve.

“The biggest obstacle the whales face is from a huge news blackout. The news writes about the whales and they write about seismic testing, but they do not report on both in the same stories,” said Racano.

Here are actions you can take, according to Racano:
1.) Visit the story in the Santa Barbara Independent at
…and post in the comments section. You will see my comment already there.

2.) Go to ‘Michaels’ art store in San Luis Obispo and get a few foam core poster boards and some markers. Make some signs. Get them ready for when the protests begin in September. The location is already chosen but not yet announced. That’s gonna be fun!

3.) This and every Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM, go to the Board of Supervisors meeting and sign up to speak during the Public Comment period (3 minutes each). The Supervisors may be brain dead, but the meeting goes out to televisions all over San Luis Obispo County! The Board of Supervisors meetings start at 9:00 a.m. in the County Government Center Board Chambers located at 1055 Monterey Street, Room D-170, San Luis Obispo.

4.) Be polite and respectful, and contact: State Senator Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, Phone: (916) 651-4015, Fax: 916-445-8081, email: senator.blakeslee [at] senate.ca.gov
Tell him seismic testing puts us all in danger by allowing PG and E to delay removal of the Nuclear Plant that is sitting on earthquake faults, and the toll on marine life is unacceptable!

5.) As anyone can see, STDCST (StopTheDiabloCanyonSeismicTesting) is growing rapidly, so keep up the great work, activists! Continue posting on the comment section of all online media and videos, youtube, newspapers, and write letters to the San Luis Obispo Tribune! E mail the Trib at:letters [at] thetribunenews.com

For more information, go to: https://www.facebook.com/…

You can also sign an on-line petition to stop the testing at: https://www.change.org/…

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant CC Records Project, www.californiacoastline.org

Plan Approved to Find Faults Near Diablo Canyon
Environmentalists Worry 3-D Seismic Tests Will Harm Marine Mammals
Thursday, August 23, 2012
By Nick Welsh
In a showdown that pit antinuclear activists against marine-mammal supporters, the California State Lands Commission approved PG&E’s plans to begin conducting high-energy 3-d offshore seismic tests to determine the extent to which the faults offshore from the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in Avila Beach connect. That information, in turn, will be used to determine more precisely the seismic threat posed by a new fault line — the Shoreline Fault — discovered in 2008 about 100 meters away from the nuclear plant and whether additional safeguards are need to prevent a Fukushima-type disaster in the event of an earthquake.

Opposing PG&E at the State Lands Commission 10-hour hearing was a coalition of environmentalists concerned that the high-pressure sound guns PG&E will be blasting into the waters off its nuclear plant — 24 hours a day for 33 days — could prove damaging, if not fatal, to blue whales, fin whales, humpback whales, California sea otters, and harbor porpoises in the area. The Natural Resources Defense Council warned that the loud blasts could deafen the porpoises, which rely heavily upon their sense of hearing for their survival.

Enviro Groups Oppose Seismic Testing at Diablo Canyon
By Sara.Rubin
The nuclear power watchdog group that’s advocated for comprehensive seismic analysis at the Diablo Canyon power plant is now joining a chorus of environmental groups pushing for a delay in permits for seismic imaging.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, along with the Sierra Club and COAST Alliance (Citizens Opposing Acoustic Seismic Testing), are urging the California Coastal Commission to deny permits to Pacific Gas & Electric for seismic testing.

Possible effects on wildlife include masking of natural sounds, behavioral disturbance, temporary or permanent hearing impairment, according to a Sept. 19 notice released by the Department of Commerce in response to PG&E’s proposal.

The area for testing, which is home to 36 reported marine mammal species, falls outside the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Strong turnout thanks whales and shows opposition to seismic testing off SLO County coast
Hundreds gather to celebrate the whales in San Luis Bay and say PG&E’s plans could hurt those marine mammals
By Tad Weber | tweber@thetribunenews.com

Hundreds of people turned out Saturday at Port San Luis to celebrate the recent sightings of humpback whales in San Luis Bay and signal their opposition to seismic studies planned offshore of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The studies would involve shooting high-decibel sounds into the ocean to map the undersea earthquake faults near the plant. Organizers of Saturday’s demonstration said the loud sounds could significantly harm the hearing of marine mammals such as whales and possibly even cause deaths.

Having the whales swim into Port San Luis two weeks ago to feed on fish — with the whales even poking their heads out of the ocean to the delight of onlookers — dramatically showed the presence of such mammals in local waters, said Joey Racano of Los Osos, who organized the demonstration. Having the whales show up “is a game changer,” he said.

Urge Commission to Reject Seismic Testing on the Central Coast.
In the fall/winter of 2012 (during the migration season of the gray whale), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is planning to conduct seismic testing off the Central Coast in order to map fault lines near the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Surfrider opposes PG&E’s efforts and questions the overall value of the project—especially considering the testing will not provide new, concrete evidence, nor conclusively prove the power plant will be safe during an earthquake. Seismic testing can have devastating impacts on ocean ecosystems. Imagine a bomb exploding every 15 seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks on end! Sound blasts can either harm or kill marine life.
Surfrider is also concerned about impacts to ocean users.

Originally published Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 8:06 AM
Officials mull seismic tests near Calif nuke plant

Plans to use an array of powerful air canons in an undersea seismic study near a Central California nuclear power plant have federal and state officials juggling concerns over marine life with public safety.
By JASON DEAREN Associated Press
Plans to use an array of powerful air canons in an undersea seismic study near a Central California nuclear power plant have federal and state officials juggling concerns over marine life with public safety.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants to use big air guns to emit strong sound waves into a large, near-shore area that includes parts of marine reserves to make three-dimensional maps of fault zones, some of which were discovered in 2008, near its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

But a state study, mandated by AB1632, signed into law in 2006, found the project is likely to have “unavoidable adverse effects” on marine life and the environment. Biologists, environmental groups and fishermen have opposed using the high-energy air guns, saying the blasts have potential to harm endangered whales, California sea otters and other creatures frequenting these waters.

Folks on the whale watching boat Dos Osos out of Morro Bay get up close to a humpback. Seismic testing off Diablo Canyon is being opposed by a new group of citizen activists because it could harm whales. Photo by Neil Farrell

New Group Opposes Seismic Testing
By Neil Farrell – news slocity – Tolosa Press [PDF]
A new citizen activist group has formed to fight Pacific Gas
& Electric’s plans to conduct offshore seismic testing to survey
earthquake faults for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

The Citizens Opposing Acoustic Seismic Testing (C.O.A.S.T.) Alliance announced its formation last week in a press release. According to the group’s mission statement, “The C.O.A.S.T Alliance, a diverse coalition of individuals, associations and government and
non-government organizations is unified in the goal of ending any efforts to permit and undergo high-intensity acoustic seismic testing by PG&E in the regions surrounding the Diablo Canyon Power Plant on the Central Coast of California.”

…The issue is slated to go before the State Fish and Game Commission at its Sacramento
meeting, set for Oct. 3-4 and the Coastal Commission is slated to hear the matter at its October meetings, set for Oct. 10-12 in Oceanside. The COAST Alliance said it plans to have people at both meetings.

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