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More “seismic testing” in the works for offshore California
by David Gurney
Saturday Sep 15th, 2012 7:29 PM
Whether the expensive seismic surveys will be allowed to continue in the face of ever increasing evidence of the urgency to immediately and permanently shut-down both the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear power plants remains to be seen.

Photo of Alison Dettmer, Deputy Director of the California Coastal Commission.

More “seismic testing” in the works for offshore California

by David Gurney

At yesterday's California Coastal Commission meeting in Caspar California, Deputy Director Alison Dettmer delivered a bombshell: she announced that seismic surveys for the controversial Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant are not the only high-energy surveys planned off California's two nuclear facilities.

According to Dettmer, the Diablo air-gun survey "would cover about 300 square miles, in both state and federal waters.* The SONGS survey, (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station) limited to federal waters, would cover about 1,300 square miles."

(*Federal waters are defined as the ocean outside of a 3-mile offshore line, which designates areas within California state jurisdiction.)

Until this point, the general public had not known that another and larger high-energy offshore survey was in the works for Southern California's San Onofre nuclear facility.

Reactors at the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant have been shut-down since January. One reactor was shuttered for scheduled repairs, and the remaining reactor was stopped in an emergency procedure, when it was discovered that badly corroded pipes were leaking radioactive steam into the immediate environment. Since then, other badly deteriorated steam generator pipes have been discovered throughout the plant. Both reactors are now off-line indefinitely.

San Onofre sits just a few feet above sea level, and has hundreds of metric tons of highly radioactive "hot" spent fuel-rods stored onsite, in "cooling ponds" that are highly vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis, and terrorist attack. The facility is protected by a 30-foot sea wall, approximately the same height as the Fukushima plant that was easily broached by 45-foot tsunamis.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company sent its lead flak-catcher, Mark Krausse, to yesterday's Coastal Commission meeting, to provide testimony on the Diablo situation, despite the fact that the matter was not on the agenda.

During his comments, Krausse stated that seismic survey cannons have been fired throughout the world "billions of times," and asserted that there is no proof of any earthquake hazard associated with the underwater blasting. (A mathematical analysis of how long it would take for one billion blasts to occur, at one shot every second, 24-hours a day, reveals that it would take well over over 31 years to rack up one billion.)

Krausse reversed himself on an earlier position about the need for seismic surveys off the Diablo plant. He contended in an Oct. 22, 2008 letter to to the California Energy Commission that: "we believe there is no uncertainty regarding the seismic setting and hazard at the Diablo Canyon Site." Krause went on in the letter: "we believe the characterization…that there are uncertainties understates the wealth of information already gathered and developed about the Diablo Canyon seismic setting."

Whether the expensive seismic surveys will be allowed to continue in the face of ever increasing evidence of the urgency to immediately and permanently decommission both plants - remains to be seen.

The issue of seismic surveys off Diablo Canyon comes before California's Fish and Game Commision on Sept 24, and again before the Coastal Commission in the second week of October.

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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Joey racano
Saturday Sep 15th, 2012 8:51 PM
The hair on my neck stood on end as this horrible woman sat besmirching the position once loftily held by the late, great, Peter Douglas. All I want to know is, 'which oil company does she drill for'?

On facebook: Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing
by Dan Bacher
Saturday Sep 15th, 2012 9:27 PM
Hey Joey

Maybe she's buddies with Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association.

These type of people are always engaged in the mad race to the ever-deeper bottom. Once you think they're reached a low that can't be surpassed, they dig a deeper hole!