The current proposed plans for seismic studies offshore and near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant were set in motion by AB 1632, an act of the California State Legislature introduced by Senator Sam Blakeslee, and is being implemented by the California Public Utilities Commission. At present, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) plans to conduct these studies from September - December 2012. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace shares the concerns of many people and organizations about the extensive harm that will be inflicted on marine life if these studies are carried out as currently designed.
PG&E’s plans rely largely on extremely loud underwater air guns, which are acknowledged by all parties to be highly disruptive to the ocean environment. Mothers for Peace asks that other technologies not so harmful to marine life be thoroughly explored.
The availability of one specific research ship, R/VMarcus G. Langseth, seems to play a major role in putting pressure on the State Lands Commission to authorize the seismic studies now. Mothers for Peace asserts that there is adequate time to explore other technologies, as the current operating licenses for the two reactors at Diablo Canyon are valid until 2024 and 2025, respectively.
The fundamental reason for this study is to learn more about the potential dangers posed by earthquake faults to the two nuclear reactors and the two pools holding the majority of the radioactive wastes accumulated by the 28 years of operation of those reactors. According to both past and current NRC rules, no nuclear plants should be located in such seismically active zones. Mothers for Peace disputes the long-term need for nuclear power in California, given the mandated increase for renewable power generation in the State by 2020.
The operators of the Fukushima plants were caught by surprise by the size of the earthquake that so devastated those reactors and spent fuel pools, and it is imperative that we not be as complacent as those responsible in Japan. However, it is our responsibility to also take into account the health of ocean life, which is essential to the health of the planet as well as to the economic status of the fishing industry on the Central Coast and beyond.
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace supports gathering information about the earthquake faults near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, including the Diablo Cove Fault, which runs directly under the Unit 1 reactor and which for inexplicable reasons is not currently included in the scope of the seismic studies. Mothers for Peace urges extreme caution in the method used to obtain data about the faults in the 530 square nautical miles of the proposed testing area. Because of grave and valid concerns voiced by the fishing and environmental communities, Mothers for Peace requests that a decision on the final environmental review be delayed until a more environmentally acceptable method of data collection can be determined.