California Utility Can’t Conduct Potentially Harmful Sonic TestingBy Michael Frank on November 16th, 2012
The California Coastal Commission, concerned about harm to fish and marine mammals, scuttled Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to conduct seismic surveys with underwater air cannons offshore of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The 10-0 vote was a huge victory for the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club, which argued that the sonic blasts would harm wildlife near scenic Morro Bay on the Central California coast. Concerns were raised specifically about local whales, sea otters, and 2,000 harbor porpoises. PG&E had requested a Coastal Commission permit to begin the high-energy surveys with the goal of producing three-dimensional images of fault lines to better understand the seismic safety of the plant. Diablo Canyon generates enough energy to meet the needs of more than three million Northern and Central Californians, but opponents, including commission chair Mary Shallenberger, said the state Lands Commission and the state Public Utilities Commission “should be investing money instead on how to get nuclear power plants off the coast,” not in figuring out just how much danger they’re putting the public in by having them anywhere where they can be threatened by seismic activity. Via L.A. Times.
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