“The Ocean is Dying”: Marine and Animal Life Die Offs, California Coast Pacific Ocean is “Turning Into a Desert”


“The Ocean is Dying”: Marine and Animal Life Die Offs, California Coast
Pacific Ocean is “Turning Into a Desert”
By Mac Slavo
Global Research, November 11, 2018
The SHTF Plan
Region: USA
Theme: Environment
(This article was first published by Global Research in May 2015)

It was the dying cry of Charlton Heston in the creepy 1973 film Soylent Green… and it could resemble our desperate near future.

The ocean is dying, by all accounts – and if so, the food supply along with it. The causes are numerous, and overlapping. And massive numbers of wild animal populations are dying as a result of it.

Natural causes in the environment are partly to blame; so too are the corporations of man; the effects of Fukushima, unleashing untold levels of radiation into the ocean and onto Pacific shores; the cumulative effect of modern chemicals and agricultural waste tainting the water and disrupting reproduction.

A startling new report says in no uncertain terms that the Pacific Ocean off the California coast is turning into a desert. Once full of life, it is now becoming barren, and marine mammals, seabirds and fish are starving as a result. According to Ocean Health:

The waters of the Pacific off the coast of California are a clear, shimmering blue today, so transparent it’s possible to see the sandy bottom below […] clear water is a sign that the ocean is turning into a desert, and the chain reaction that causes that bitter clarity is perhaps most obvious on the beaches of the Golden State, where thousands of emaciated sea lion pups are stranded.

[…]

Over the last three years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has noticed a growing number of strandings on the beaches of California and up into the Pacific north-west. In 2013, 1,171 sea lions were stranded, and 2,700 have already stranded in 2015 – a sign that something is seriously wrong, as pups don’t normally wind up on their own until later in the spring and early summer.

“[An unusually large number of sea lions stranding in 2013 was a red flag] there was a food availability problem even before the ocean got warm.”Johnson: This has never happened before… It’s incredible. It’s so unusual, and there’s no really good explanation for it. There’s also a good chance that the problem will continue, said a NOAA research scientist in climatology, Nate Mantua.

Experts blame a lack of food due to unusually warm ocean waters. NOAA declared an El Nino, the weather pattern that warms the Pacific, a few weeks ago. The water is three and a half to six degrees warmer than the average, according to Mantua, because of a lack of north wind on the West Coast. Ordinarily, the north wind drives the current, creating upwelling that brings forth the nutrients that feed the sardines, anchovies and other fish that adult sea lions feed on.

Fox News added:

The warm water is likely pushing prime sea lion foods — market squid, sardines and anchovies — further north, forcing the mothers to abandon their pups for up to eight days at a time in search of sustenance.

The pups, scientists believe, are weaning themselves early out of desperation and setting out on their own despite being underweight and ill-prepared to hunt.

[…]

“These animals are coming in really desperate. They’re at the end of life. They’re in a crisis … and not all animals are going to make it,” said Keith A. Matassa, executive director at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which is currently rehabilitating 115 sea lion pups.

The same is true of seabirds on the Washington State coast:

In the storm debris littering a Washington State shoreline, Bonnie Wood saw something grisly: the mangled bodies of dozens of scraggly young seabirds. Walking half a mile along the beach at Twin Harbors State Park on Wednesday, Wood spotted more than 130 carcasses of juvenile Cassin’s auklets—the blue-footed, palm-size victims of what is becoming one of the largest mass die-offs of seabirds ever recorded. “It was so distressing,” recalled Wood, a volunteer who patrols Pacific Northwest beaches looking for dead or stranded birds. “They were just everywhere. Every ten yards we’d find another ten bodies of these sweet little things.”

“This is just massive, massive, unprecedented,” said Julia Parrish, a University of Washington seabird ecologist who oversees the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a program that has tracked West Coast seabird deaths for almost 20 years. “We may be talking about 50,000 to 100,000 deaths. So far.” (source)

100,000 doesn’t necessarily sound large, statistically speaking, but precedent in the history of recorded animal deaths suggests that it is, in fact massive. Even National Geographic is noting that these die off events are “unprecedented.” Warmer water is indicated for much of the starvation faced by many of the dead animals.

Last year, scientists sounded the alarm over the death of millions of star fish, blamed on warmer waters and ‘mystery virus’:


Starfish are dying by the millions up and down the West Coast, leading scientists to warn of the possibility of localized extinction of some species. As the disease spreads, researchers may be zeroing in on a link between warming waters and the rising starfish body count. (source)

[…]

The epidemic, which threatens to reshape the coastal food web and change the makeup of tide pools for years to come, appears to be driven by a previously unidentified virus, a team of more than a dozen researchers from Cornell University, UC Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other institutions reported Monday. (source)

Changing temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, driven by the natural cycle of gyres over decades, shifts wildlife populations, decimating the populations of species throughout the food chain, proving how fragile the balance of life in the ocean really is.

Recently, the collapse of the sardine population has created a crisis for fisheries and marine wildlife alike on the West Coast:

Commercial fishing for sardines off of Canada’s West Coast is worth an estimated $32 million – but now they are suddenly gone. Back in October, fisherman reported that they came back empty-handed without a single fish after 12 hours of trolling and some $1000 spent on fuel.

Sandy Mazza, for the Daily Breeze, reported a similar phenomenon in central California: “[T]he fickle sardines have been so abundant for so many years – sometimes holding court as the most plentiful fish in coastal waters – that it was a shock when he couldn’t find one of the shiny silver-blue coastal fish all summer, even though this isn’t the first time they’ve vanished.” [emphasis added]

[…]
“Is it El Nino? Pacific Decadal Oscillation? [La] Nina? Long-term climate change? More marine mammals eating sardines? Did they all go to Mexico or farther offshore? We don’t know. We’re pretty sure the overall population has declined. We manage them pretty conservatively because we don’t want to end up with another Cannery Row so, as the population declines, we curb fishing.” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official Kerry Griffin. (source)

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the worst events have wiped out 90% of animal populations, falling short of extinction, but creating a rupture in food chains and ecosystems.

And environmental factors are known to be a factor, with pollution from chemicals dumped by factories clearly tied to at least 20% of the mass die off events of wildlife populations that have been investigated, and many die offs implicated by a number of overlapping factors. TheDaily Mail reported:

Mass die-offs of certain animals has increased in frequency every year for seven decades, according to a new study.

Researchers found that such events, which can kill more than 90 per cent of a population, are increasing among birds, fish and marine invertebrates.

The reasons for the die-offs are diverse, with effects tied to humans such as environmental contamination accounting for about a fifth of them.

Farm runoff from Big Agra introduces high levels of fertilizers and pesticides which createoxygen-starved dead zones which fish and aquatic live is killed off. Also preset in agriculture waste are gender bending chemicals like those found in Atrazine, used in staple crop production, and antibiotics and hormones, used in livestock production, which creates hazardous runoff for fish populations:

Livestock excrete natural hormones – estrogens and testosterones – as well as synthetic ones used to bolster their growth. Depending on concentrations and fish sensitivity, these hormones and hormone mimics might impair wild fish reproduction or skew their sex ratios. (source)

Pharmaceutical contaminants are also to blame for changing the sex of fish and disrupting population numbers, while a study found that the chemicals in Prozac changed the behavior of marine life, and made shrimp many times more likely to “commit suicide” and swim towards the light where they became easy prey.

Fish farms also introduce a large volume of antibiotic and chemical pollution into oceans and waterways:

The close quarters where farmed fish are raised (combined with their unnatural diets) means disease occurs often and can spread quickly. On fish farms, which are basically “CAFOs of the sea,” antibiotics are dispersed into the water, and sometimes injected directly into the fish.

Unfortunately, farmed fish are often raised in pens in the ocean, which means not only that pathogens can spread like wildfire and contaminate any wild fish swimming past – but the antibiotics can also spread to wild fish (via aquaculture and wastewater runoff) – and that’s exactly what recent research revealed. (source)

Mass die offs of fish on the Brazilian coastline have linked to pollution from the dumping of raw sewage and garbage.

In the last few days it was reported that a massive die off of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico was connected by researchers to BP’s Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Evidence was found in a third of the cases of lesions in the adrenal gland, an otherwise rare condition linked with petroleum exposure. More than a fifth of the dolphins also suffered bacterial pneumonia, causing deadly lung infection that is likewise rarely seen in dolphin populations.
How Ocean Pollution Affects Human Health
The original source of this article is The SHTF Plan
Copyright © Mac Slavo, The SHTF Plan, 2018

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Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion For Emergency Public Hearing On Votgle Units 3 & 4

BEFORE THE GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION STATE OF GEORGIA
)
In Re: )
Review of Georgia Power Company’s ) Dockets No. 27800 & 29849
Certificate of Public Convenience and )
Necessity for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 )

NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH MANDAMUS MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY PUBLIC HEARING ON VOGTLE 3 & 4

Nuclear Watch South files this mandamus motion and complaint that the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has failed to respond to Nuclear Watch South Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 in accordance with laws governing the PSC.

I. Background

Nuclear Watch South filed on April 18, 2017, a request for an emergency public hearing to hear substantial issues surrounding the bankruptcies of Georgia Power’s Vogtle construction consortium partners which affect the public and to establish a schedule for public review of Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4 expansion under construction in Burke County. When the PSC failed to respond within 30 days, Nuclear Watch South filed on May 19, 2017, its Motion to Compel a Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4.

Nuclear Watch South’s legal petition to the PSC seeks a process for the public to address, among other issues, many hundreds of millions of public dollars that have been, and are being, collected and deposited as profit for Georgia Power’s shareholders without any meaningful action from the PSC over the past six months while Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4 consortium partners are mired in bankruptcy courts.

Nuclear Watch South’s request asked that the PSC establish a deadline for Georgia Power to submit, at minimum:
1) The complete and true construction schedule for Vogtle 3 & 4

1

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4

2) The cost to complete Vogtle 3 & 4 construction

3) The cost to cancel Vogtle 3 & 4 construction

II. The Public Service Commission has failed in its legal obligation to respond to a legitimate public request in a specified timeframe.
More than 60 days have elapsed without a response to Nuclear Watch South’s request from the PSC, with one exception: on May 25, 2017, PSC staff attorney Jeffrey Stair sent Nuclear Watch South representative Glenn Carroll an e-mail stating: “It is Staff’s intent to place these items on a future regularly scheduled Energy Committee meeting agenda for Commission consideration.”1

The Commission’s inadequate response to Nuclear Watch South’s request places it in noncompliance with its legal obligation to make a proper response to a legitimate request in a timely fashion as required by Georgia PSC Rule 515-2-1.05 which states: “All applications, petitions or complaints filed with the Commission, or actions initiated by the Commission, on Friday prior to the second Tuesday in each month shall, unless otherwise directed by the Commission, be assigned for hearing on the fourth Tuesday or some succeeding date, and likewise those filed or commenced subsequent to the Friday preceding the second Tuesday in the month and not later than Friday prior to the fourth Tuesday shall, unless otherwise directed by the Commission, be assigned for hearing on the second Tuesday in the following month, or some succeeding date.” [emphasis supplied]

To be in compliance, the PSC should have placed Nuclear Watch South’s request on the calendar

1 The entire text of May 25, 2017 e-mail from Jeff Stair to Glenn Carroll: Ms. Carroll:
The Georgia Public Service Commission Staff has received and reviewed Nuclear Watch South’s Request
for Emergency Hearing as well as Nuclear Watch South’s Motion to Compel a Response. It is Staff’s intent to place these items on a future regularly scheduled Energy Committee meeting agenda for Commission consideration.
As you are aware, Staff and its consultants are continuing their comprehensive review of Plant Vogtle Units
3 and 4, as well as preparing testimony to be offered in the upcoming Vogtle Construction Monitoring proceeding. Also, Georgia Power Company has not yet filed its revised cost and schedule estimates for Units 3 and 4, nor has the Company indicated what type of filing it may ultimately make at the Commission. Once the Company provides its updated projections, Staff and Intervenors will be in a better position to respond, as may be appropriate.
I will be sure to give you sufficient advance notice of when Nuclear Watch South’s Request will be considered at an Energy Committee meeting.
[signed] Jeff Stair

2

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 on May 9, 2017, or established an specific alternative date. Staff attorney’s reference in his May 25, 2017 e-mail to the open-ended, semi-annual Vogtle construction review process and assertion that “Georgia Power Company has not yet filed its revised cost and schedule estimates for Units
3 and 4, nor has the Company indicated what type of filing it may ultimately make at the Commission,” do not satisfy the PSC’s legal obligation to make a specific response to Nuclear Watch South’s request for an emergency public hearing. As a matter of point, the particular excuse that Georgia Power hasn’t made a move yet is precisely the problem Nuclear Watch South seeks relief from via an emergency public hearing.

In the May 11, 2017, 16th Vogtle Construction Monitoring Review (VCM) hearing before the PSC, Georgia Power testified that it would probably file its analysis of the path forward in June. A June date would, indeed, satisfy the spirit of Nuclear Watch South’s request which suggests a June 30, 2017, deadline in its 4/18/17 Request for Emergency Public Hearing.

However, at the June 1, 2017, PSC Energy Committee meeting, Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald offered a motion for Georgia Power to voluntarily cease CWIP collection and use the traditional AFUDC (Allowance for Funds Used During Construction) mechanism to recover its costs in the rates when the project is complete. While Nuclear Watch South has stated its appreciation for Commissioner McDonald’s initiative, the motion, and the meeting, fail to address the central question of a timely and direct response to Nuclear Watch South’s request for an emergency public hearing as required by law. Significantly, at the June 1, 2017, meeting Georgia Power’s attorney Kevin Greene revealed in verbal exchange with Commissioner Stan Wise, that Georgia Power would not supply the requested information about costs and schedule on Vogtle 3 & 4 in June and anticipates submitting plans in August 2017, or later. Greene’s statement validated press reports about Southern Company CEO statements before the May 24, 2017, Southern Company annual shareholder meeting: “Fanning said Wednesday he now hopes to have that evaluation completed in August or ‘late summer.’”2

2 Southern Co. CEO: Time needed for new Vogtle plan, by Matt Kempner, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 25, 2017 http://www.myajc.com/business/southern-ceo-more-time-needed-for-new-vogtle- plan/5tKTIa1WpXKx95F5qPyWeL/

3

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 At the PSC’s Administrative Affairs meeting on June 6, 2017, the Commission voted to indefinitely delay a decision on Commissioner McDonald’s motion pending further study. Nuclear Watch South’s request was still not on the agenda. The PSC stated concern about breaking the law if it passes a symbolic motion asking for Georgia Power to voluntarily cease collection of the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery tariff enabled by the Georgia legislature in the 2009 Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act. It is seeking input from the State of Georgia Attorney General, but did not establish a time frame to do so.

PSC meetings on June 15, 2017, also failed to include Nuclear Watch South’s request on the agenda.

The total effect of the PSC’s inaction is that, so far, Georgia Power has, de facto, set the agenda and the schedule for the Georgia Public Service Commission’s response (or lack thereof) to not only Nuclear Watch South’s request, but to the entire circumstance clouding the future construction of Vogtle 3 & 4. To let this situation persist is an egregious lapse of PSC oversight protection for the people of Georgia who are captive customers to Georgia Power’s profitable monopoly and who are paying almost $50 million per month for continued construction at Vogtle 3 & 4.

The situation forces Nuclear Watch South to point out via this Mandamus Motion, that the PSC’s inaction places the PSC in flagrant violation of Georgia PSC Rule 15-2-1.05 which regulates the PSC’s response to the public and establishes a standard for timely response to a legitimate request.

III. The Public Service Commission has broad legal powers which authorize it to protect public interests and processes Nuclear Watch South has repeatedly cited the laws which empower the PSC to decertify3 Vogtle 3 Georgia Code O.C.G.A. § 46-3A-6: Upon application of a utility or upon its own motion, the commission may reexamine any certificate granted under this chapter to determine whether new forecasts of future requirements require the modification of the construction, purchase, sale, or expenditure for a certificated capacity resource. If upon such reexamination the commission finds that the certificated capacity resource is no longer needed or that

4

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 3 & 4 (which it should do because Nuclear Watch South has proven since 2013 using Georgia Power’s own SEC-filed annual report data that power from the $18 billion dollar reactors is not needed as Georgia Power is 30% overbuilt in a shrinking energy market) and also to obtain information from the utilities which it regulates, and to establish any processes it needs to get information (including to grant Nuclear Watch South’s Request for Emergency Public Hearing or to establish another mechanism to bring transparency and public input to the Vogtle question such as a facilitated stakeholder meeting).

O.C.G.A. 46-2-20 (f) and (g) empowers the PSC in the current instance (in which Georgia Power has refused to make important information available to the PSC for six months) to raid the company’s offices if necessary to get the information it needs.4

O.C.G.A. § 46-2-20 (b) is the basic law empowering the PSC to establish any process it needs to get at the truth and the law pursuant of which Nuclear Watch South makes its Request for Emergency Public Hearing.5

IV. The Public Service Commission must exercise its powers for the protection of both the public and Georgia Power As stated above, and repeatedly, in every forum offered by the PSC, Georgia Power is overbuilt any additional certificated capacity resource is needed to assure a reliable supply of electric power and energy for the utility’s Georgia retail customers, the commission may modify or revoke the certificate. If the utility cancels, abandons, or increases some or all of the capacity resource as a result of such modification or revocation of the certificate, it may recover through any rate-making vehicle over a reasonable period of time, absent fraud, concealment, failure to disclose a material fact, imprudence, or criminal misconduct, the amount of its investment in such capacity resource, along with the cost of carrying the unamortized portion of that investment, net of actual salvage value, to the extent such investment is verified as made pursuant to the certificate. The commission shall disallow such investment and costs resulting from fraud, concealment, failure to disclose a material fact, imprudence, or criminal misconduct. [emphasis added] 4 O.C.G.A.
§ 46-2-20 (f) The commission shall also have the power and authority to examine all books, contracts, records, papers, and documents of any person subject to its supervision and to compel the production thereof.
(g) The commission shall have the power, through any of its members, at its discretion, to make personal visits to the offices and places of business of the companies under its supervision for the purpose of examination. Any Commissioner making a personal visit pursuant to this subsection shall have full power and authority to examine the agents and employees of any such company, under oath or otherwise, in order to procure information deemed by the Commissioner necessary to the work of the commission or of value to the public.
5 O.C.G.A. § 46-2-20 (b) The commission may hear complaints; in addition, it is also authorized to perform the duties imposed upon it of its own initiative.

5

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 while enduring a protracted, national downturn in electric sales, i.e., power from Vogtle 3 & 4 is not necessary and does not meet the “public convenience” test. Every day that the decision to stop constructing Plant Vogtle is delayed is costly to the consumers the PSC is supposed to protect. Georgia Power cannot lead with the decision to decertify Vogtle construction because, among other reasons, a primary consideration for the company is the fact that they, and only they, among the Vogtle construction consortium, are making a good profit from the mismanaged nuclear construction project.

Figure 1: Georgia Power Profits 2006-2016
But, in fact, Georgia Power also needs for the PSC to initiate decertification in order to clear the way for the company to recover its sunk costs, an important point of O.C.G.A. § 46-3A-6 which states: “If the utility cancels, abandons, or increases some or all of the capacity resource as a

6

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 result of such [PSC initiated] modification or revocation of the certificate, it may recover through any rate-making vehicle over a reasonable period of time, absent fraud, concealment, failure to disclose a material fact, imprudence, or criminal misconduct, the amount of its investment in
such capacity resource, along with the cost of carrying the unamortized portion of that investment, net of actual salvage value, to the extent such investment is verified as made pursuant to the certificate.” Id. Annotated.

V. Conclusion
Nearly six months have elapsed since Toshiba’s December 27, 2016, revelation of billions of dollars in losses from its U.S. nuclear projects, including Vogtle, a mere five days after the PSC’s notorious $2 billion Christmas gift to Georgia Power on December 22, 2016. 6

During that time, Westinghouse has entered bankruptcy, Toshiba is rumored to be planning bankruptcy, and construction partner CB&I is being accused of falsifying information in the merger with Westinghouse that were terms of the settlement in which Georgia Power accepted almost $2 billion in cost overruns, the same overruns which the PSC approved five days before the shocking Toshiba announcement. We ask, “Is this any way to build a nuclear plant??”

But the public has not been given a seat at the negotiating table even though it is our money that has been invested and lost on the unneeded nuclear project. During this protracted period of financial unraveling, Georgians have transferred $250 million from their pockets to Georgia Power’s bankroll which Georgia Power has then plowed back into the unneeded radioactive waste manufacturing facility less than half-built on the banks of the Savannah River.

Indeed, the argument to cancel Vogtle grows stronger with each passing day (and the seemingly infinite construction delays continue to accrue at the rate of one day for every single day of construction). The 16th Semiannual Vogtle Construction Monitoring Review (VCMR) currently underway at the PSC has contributed significant new insights. In testimony filed June 8, 2017, 6 How Georgia officials pantsed you over the holidays, by Matt Kempner, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 6, 2017 http://www.myajc.com/business/kempner-how-georgia-officials-pantsed-you-over-the- holidays/kKdADfa9OhQqqcscxu5CQK/

7

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 economic expert Philip Hayet testifies that Vogtle 3 & 4 are no longer economic to complete. Vogtle construction monitors Steven Roetger and Dr. William Jacobs filed, at the same time, testimony highlighting ongoing extreme delays of over 300 days which occurred in 2016 on several critical paths and redacted information concerning idle workers.

Even so, participation in the 16th VCMR has been unsatisfying to date for public witnesses, who, unlike the rich monopoly Georgia Power (which the PSC regulates), are rudely interrupted and shut down if their remarks exceed three minutes. Public witnesses, ordinary citizens who take time off work to come to obscure, poorly noticed, PSC hearings, often suffer hostile challenges to their testimony and written comments from the Commissioners. The current Public Service Commission has established a new low standard in its lack of sensitivity to the public it serves as the largest boondoggle in construction history since the Biblical Tower of Babel continues to drain public money while the PSC fiddles around and does nothing.

The Christian minister who gave the devotion prior to the June 6, 2017, PSC administrative session told an illuminating story about Nero, the infamous Roman emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned.” He testified that Nero needed to burn some buildings in order to conduct his own building program, but the fire got out of hand and burned most of Rome. The story of Rome burning is a rich metaphor for the bungled Vogtle project which is enriching a powerful monopoly, Georgia Power, while impoverishing Georgia citizens. Indeed, Georgia Power burns our hard-earned money on an unnecessary construction project, while the PSC takes a nap or “phones it in” not even showing up for the few important public hearings about Vogtle 3 & 4.

Nuclear Watch South is backed by many Georgia laws cited above in its demand for an effective public process to bring the public’s interest to the table to address the Vogtle situation.

This Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4 underlines the serious legal requirement for the Commission to take immediate action to establish a process and a timeframe for Georgia Power to submit information and an emergency public hearing to decide the issues outlined above.

8

Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to
Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4
Respectfully submitted,

_/s/_

Glenn Carroll
Nuclear Watch South

Nuclear Watch South
P.O. Box 8574
Atlanta, Georgia 31106
atom.girl@nonukesyall.org
404-378-4263

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Nuclear Watch South Mandamus Motion to Compel Response to
Request for Emergency Public Hearing on Vogtle 3 & 4

“No fish out there, anywhere, over a very large area”… “What’s happening? Where’s their food?” — “Alarming… Frightening… Total failure in reproduction… Like nothing we’ve ever observed before”


Massive die-offs reported in Pacific Ocean — Officials: “No fish out there, anywhere, over a very large area”… “What’s happening? Where’s their food?” — “Alarming… Frightening… Total failure in reproduction… Like nothing we’ve ever observed before” (VIDEO)
Published: March 16th, 2017 at 2:35 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/massive-die-offs-reported-in-pacific-ocean-officials-theres-no-fish-out-there-anywhere-over-a-very-large-area-what-is-happening-where-is-their-food-alarming-frightening

KTUU, Feb 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Following last year’s massive die-off of Alaskan seabirds, scientists still looking for answers… “Geographically and that it lasted a year, that’s unprecedented, [Kathy Kuletz, a biologist with US Fish & Wildlife Service]… “it’s certainly well over a hundred thousand and it could go many times that.”… “I would say possibly hundreds of thousands were killed… Almost always it’s been starvation… Sea birds are top predators,” [Heather Renner, biologist with Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge] said. “They’re sort of sentinels for our environment. They have definitely let us know that there’s change going on in the ocean ecosystem”… Renner says [the birds had an] exceptionally low birthing season… This reproductive die-off meant a “total failure” of murre reproduction that year… “The reproductive die off is something we’ve never seen in murres before, widespread. The refuge (AMNWR) has been monitoring these colonies for 4 decades and it’s like nothing we’ve ever observed before,” Renner said…
http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Following-last-years-massive-die-off-of-Alaskan-seabirds-scientists-still-looking-for-answers-413757753.html
AP, Feb 10, 2017: [T]ens of thousands of common murres… starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska… “it’s because there’s no fish out there, anywhere, over a very large area,” [John Piatt, biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey] said. To see such effect over two sizeable marine ecosystems is extraordinary, he said… Common murres eat small forage fish [which] were largely absent when the National Marine Fisheries Service conducted surveys in summer 2015… A conservative extrapolation indicates 500,000 or more common murres died, Piatt said. Nearly all were emaciated… “In 2016, we had widespread breeding failure at all of the colonies in the Gulf of Alaska, as well as the Bering Sea,” Renner said. “It was a highly unusual event. Murres don’t fail regularly.”… “They died of starvation because there was no food,” Piatt said. “There was no food because there was no fish.”…

KYUK, Jan 25, 2017: “The birds were underweight to the point of starvation,” [Shannon Atkinson of the University of Alaska Fairbanks] said. The number of starved murres, and the length of their die-off, was something no one had seen before, but murres in the Gulf of Alaska were not the only seabirds to die in large numbers last year. Tufted puffins in the Bering Sea also showed up on beaches in large numbers… Scientists struggled to understand why a bird that spends most of the winter offshore eating fish would fly to the coast to die of starvation on the beach… research showed a link between the starving birds and trawl surveys that came up empty, or with only a few of the forage fish normally eaten by murres… “The main result to take away from this is the catch per unit effort for all of these species was very close to zero, meaning that the forage fish was simply not there,” Atkinson said.
http://kyuk.org/post/massive-murre-die-last-winter-caused-warm-water-disrupting-food-chain-and-causing-starvation

KUCB, Dec 7, 2016: In the past two months, 300 dead puffins have washed up on St. Paul Island, alarming residents who had only seen six carcasses over the last decade… scientists say it could be the sign of a much larger ecosystem problem… [The co-director of St. Paul’s Ecosystem Conservation Office said] ‘There are dead puffins everywhere.’… The carcasses came ashore in waves… [Lauren Divine, co-director of St. Paul’s Ecosystem Conservation Office] said the extent of the die-off was frightening… “After we opened up the first five, it was very apparent that all of them were emaciated,” she said. “Their muscles were completely atrophied. They had empty stomachs. They had gastrointestinal bleeding, which indicates severe long-term starvation. They were in very, very poor shape… So we started digging into this more,” said Divine. “What is happening? Where is their food?“… [T]he ECO office is also seeing signs of stress in other species. [Divine] said the island’s seabirds laid barely any eggs this season, hunters had a hard time finding sea lions, and crab quotas were cut sharply after a survey showed low numbers.
http://kucb.org/post/puffin-die-st-paul-island-may-point-larger-ecosystem-problems

Watch KTVA’s broadcast here:
http://www.ktva.com/puffins-lastest-seabirds-wash-ashore-522/

ENENews: Scientific American: Plant is in “crisis mode”… fuel has melted through containers — Official: Corium may never be extracted — Gov’t suggests dumping it under Pacific Ocean


Washington Post: “No one knows what to do with Fukushima” — Scientific American: Plant is in “crisis mode”… fuel has melted through containers — Official: Corium may never be extracted — Gov’t suggests dumping it under Pacific Ocean
Published: February 22nd, 2016 at 9:28 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/wash-post-one-fukushima-plant-crisis-mode-official-melted-fuel-never-be-extracted-govt-suggests-dumping-corium-pacific-ocean?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


Washington Post, Feb 10, 2016 (emphasis added): Five years after nuclear meltdown, no one knows what to do with Fukushima… one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?… Tepco has built a 1,500-yard-long “ice wall” around the four reactor buildings… however, Japan’s nuclear watchdog blocked the plan, saying the risk of leakage was still too high… [M]ost problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself… “The biggest challenge is going to be the removal of the nuclear fuel debris,” [Akira Ono, Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi superintendent] said. “We don’t even know what state the debris is in at the moment.”… one of the options the government is considering is building a nuclear waste dump under the seabed, about eight miles off the Fukushima coast… Many groups… staunchly oppose the idea of burying the radioactive material at sea in such a seismically active area. “At some point it would leak and affect the environment,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center.
http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/five-years-after-nuclear-meltdown-no-one-knows-what-to-do-with-fukushima-1.393368


Japan Times, Feb 20, 2016: NRA commissioner suggests plan to remove all fuel debris at Fukushima plant may not be best option — A Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner has suggested that removing all fuel debris from reactors at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may not be the best option. “I wonder if the situation would be desired that work is still underway to extract fuel debris 70 or 80 years after” the nuclear disaster, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters Friday. “There are a variety of options, including removing as much fuel debris as possible and solidifying the rest,” he added… Fuketa said that unlike the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it is “not realistic” to construct concrete buildings to cover reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant because the situation is different. The commissioner also questioned whether construction of an underground ice wall around the reactor buildings to prevent radioactive water buildup will prove effective.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/20/national/nra-commissioner-suggests-plan-remove-fuel-debris-fukushima-plant-may-not-best-option#.VsvFm_ySjaw


(bags of radioactive waste)
Scientific American, March 2016 issue: Five years ago this month… half of the facility’s uranium cores to overheat and melt through their steel containers… Today the disaster site remains in crisis mode…
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/5-years-later-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-site-continues-to-spill-waste/

See also: Nuclear Expert: Simply impossible to remove melted fuel from Fukushima — Corium “has spread all over… could actually have gone through floor of containment vessel” — Only way to deal with these reactors releasing dangerous radiation is to cover in concrete — Will take centuries of work (VIDEO):
http://enenews.com/japan-nuclear-expert-simply-impossible-remove-melted-fuel-fukushima-corium-spread-all-place-could-actually-gone-floor-containment-vessel-only-possible-outcome-cover-reactors-concrete-will-cen

We’re Toast, Without the Jam!

ENENews:
http://enenews.com/official-report-west-coast-hit-220000000-atoms-liter-iodine-129-rain-after-fukushima-15-million-year-half-life-detected-groundwater-transported-rapidly-japan-west-coast-canada-elevated-lev

Official Report: West Coast hit with 220,000,000 atoms per liter of Iodine-129 in rain after Fukushima — 15 Million year half-life — Detected in aquifer that supplies drinking water to large number of people — “Transported rapidly” to Canada and US — Elevated levels continued for many months
Published: February 17th, 2016 at 8:58 am ET
By ENENews

Tracking the Fallout and Fate of Fukushima Iodine-129 in Rain and Groundwater

Matt Herod, Univ, of Ottawa Ph.D Candidate, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): A recently published paper (by myself and colleagues from uOttawa and Environment Canada) investigates… [Iodine-129] which was released by the Fukushima-Daichii [sic] Nuclear Accident… Within 6 days of the FDNA 129I concentrations in Vancouver precipitation increased 5-15 times… sampling of groundwater revealed slight increases in 129I… The results in rain show an increase in 129I concentrations of up to 220 million atoms/L… 129I anomalies [in groundwater wells], which occurred exactly when the recharge age predicted they would, suggests that some of the 129I deposited by Fukushima was reaching the wells… [P]ulses of elevated 129I occurred for another several months. Elevated 129I concentrations were measured in two wells… indicating that 129I from Fukushima can be traced into groundwater… [M]odeling has shown that 129I can be rapidly transported to the water table…

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015WR017325/full
Scientists from Univ. of Ottawa’s Dept. of Earth Science and Environment Canada (Government of Canada), Dec 2015: The atmospheric transport of iodine-129 from Fukushima to British Columbia, Canada and its deposition and transport into groundwater

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident (FDNA) released iodine-129 (15.7 million year half-life)… The mean pre-accident 129I concentration in rain was [31,000,000 atoms/L]… following the FDNA, 129I values increased to [211,000,000 atoms/L]… [P]ulses of elevated 129I continued for several months…
The 129I in shallow… groundwater showed measurable variability through March 2013 with an average of [3,200,000 atoms/L]… coincident with modeled travel times…
Radionuclides released from the FDNA have been detected across the globe… [R]eleases of 129I and 131I… travel great distances…
The Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer… spans the Canada–U.S. border between [B.C., Canada and Washington, US] and supplies ∼120,000 people with drinking water…
A pulse of 129I in precipitation with maximum concentrations of [211,000,000 atoms/L] in Vancouver and [221,000,000 atoms/L] at Saturna Island was observed 6 days following the FDNA. A value of [311,000,000 atoms/L] was also measured during the first week of July…
The high 129I concentrations while the FDNA was ongoing are attributed to the rapid trans-Pacific transport of 129I from Fukushima… This response in 129I concentrations shows that radionuclides from Fukushima were transported rapidly from Japan to the west coast of Canada and the US… [Sampling from Washington State], which is a composite of rainfall events spanning 15 March 2011 to 16 April 2011 shows a significantly elevated 129I concentration of [95,000,000 atoms/L]…
There was a spike in 129I concentration observed in the precipitation sample from the period of 1 July 2011 to 8 July 2011 [which] rose to [311,000,000 atoms/L]… a substantially higher concentration than any other sample… As monitoring at Fukushima detected no pulse of 129I in precipitation in July… this spike is likely due to a… nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. Modeling of the air parcel back trajectories… for the sampling period shows air mass trajectories from Hawaii, north Japan, and Russia…
The initial increase in 129I concentration at the water table appeared within ∼95 days, with a maximum concentration of [10,500,000 atoms/L]…
In the model cases, 129I reached the water table very rapidly…
Groundwater 129I concentrations in two nearby wells showed minor anomalies over the sampling period which could be due to rapid infiltration of the FDNA atmospheric 129I signal… [M]odeling shows that it was possible for a component of the 129I deposited by the FDNA to be conducted rapidly from the ground surface to the water table… We conclude that it is possible that a fraction of 129I from the FDNA is transported conservatively in this aquifer via preferential flow paths to the water table…

See also: Official in Canada advises public not to drink rainwater coming from Fukushima

http://enenews.com/canada-local-official-advising-residents-not-to-drink-rainwater-after-tests-find-increasing-radioactivity-govt-pressuring-him-to-stop-testing

And: Rain with 20,000,000 particles of Iodine-131 per liter fell on US (VIDEO)

ENENews: From Cynthia McKinney, Former Member of Congress: “The elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation”


Former US Gov’t Official: “The elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation” when it comes to Pacific Ocean animal die-offs… Gov’t has totally failed to inform public about full extent of fallout… Media’s silence is deafening — Mentions coverage by ENENews

Published: October 20th, 2015 at 6:40 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/former-govt-official-elephant-room-fukushima-radiation-when-comes-pacific-ocean-die-offs-govt-totally-failed-inform-public-about-full-extent-fallout-mentions-coverage-enenews?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Cynthia McKinney
After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the US House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the US Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the US presidency.
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/319053-fukushima-fallout-radioactive-japan/

Excerpts from column by Cynthia McKinney, former member of Congress who served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Oct. 19, 2015:

• In the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power meltdown… the international community has totally failed in keeping the public properly informed and protected from the fallout. Scientists and environmental officials continue to express concern, even now, at the unusual events and wonder about the causes. At the same time, the media present the facts, but fail to make any connection whatsoever to the ongoing state of affairs stemming from the tragic 2011 events at Fukushima. Here are a few recent examples… A September 2015 audio report from Robin Corcoran, biologist from the Kodiak Wildlife National Refuge, confirms local reports that “emaciated” bird carcasses are washing up on Kodiak Island shores… The program concluded by stating that multiple species of birds have declined in number in other Alaska regions… A few days before the Kodiak reports… Josh Saranpaa of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast was quoted as saying, “Every bird we’re seeing is starving to death. It’s pretty bad.” Saranpaa added, “When you see so many starving, something is not quite right out there.”… Julia Reis of the Half Moon Bay Review writes with understatement, “There have been noticeable changes in the Pacific Ocean that have caused difficulties for marine life of late.” Gerry McChesney of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge says that the die-off has him all the more “baffled” because of the strip of cold water in his area full of food for these birds. In my mind’s eye, I can see McChesney scratching his head as I read that he considers poisoning, starvation, and El Nino as possible causes for the die-off. The article ends with the following comment by McChesney, “We might have to see some other problem in the ocean before we understand what’s causing the die-off.”

• ENENews.com points to the problem of the massive die-off happening from San Diego to Alaska—all along the West Coast of the U.S. It highlights in various reports words like “strange,” “unprecedented,” “crazy,” “worst,” with this iconic quote from The Sacramento Bee: “Our gut tells us there is something going on in the marine environment.”

• [T]he media provide coverage of marine anomalies mentioning global warming, even El Nino and toxic algae, while the elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation. It is this silence that is deafening!… I do want to know why in the face of what appear to be Pacific Ocean die-offs, El Nino is mentioned and not the Fukushima-related elevated levels of radiation. As long as there is a palpable lack of transparency in the mainstream media’s ordinary coverage of extraordinary environmental events, that includes what one senses as a reticence to discuss the obvious, I predict that there will be a proliferation of citizen journalists and citizen scientists seizing upon each piece of new data trying to make sense out of a government-approved narrative that just doesn’t make sense… We should not rely on government officials to tell us the truth about the full extent of Fukushima’s fallout.

See the ENENews report mentioned by McKinney here:
http://enenews.com/mind-blowing-die-seabirds-underway-california-alaska-experts-unprecedented-theyre-dying-im-baffled-every-bird-starving-death-basically-withering-away-catastrophic-molting-observed-due-unknown

ENENews: Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside”

Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down… infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/sickened-animals-anything-doctors-along-west-coast-theyre-eating-inside-cancers-liver-pancreas-intestines-basically-shut-down-infested-parasites-immune-antibiotics-unprecedented-catastrophe-p
Published: January 7th, 2016 at 11:19 am ET
By ENENews


(Garnet the California sea lion, deceased, arrives at the Marine Mammal Center. Azure Gilman / Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera, Jan 6, 2016 (emphasis added): In warming ocean, record number of seals and sea lions sicken and starve — Ailing or dead seals and sea lions washed up on California beaches in record numbers in 2015; this year could be worse… They are brought in with all sorts of problems: lockjaw, poisoning, cancer… But most of the record number of seals and sea lions washing up on California’s shores and being brought to a regional rescue center are starving… this slow-motion catastrophe is likely to continue… In 2015, [NOAA] counted more than 4,200 California sea lions, 90 Guadalupe fur seals, and 70 northern fur seals. The [Marine Mammal Center’s] staff began to realize something was different early in the year… the pups brought in for rescue were unlike anything the veterinarians had ever seen… It was the worst year in the center’s 40-year history, staff said… Only half the usual number of sea lion pups were born off the California coast in 2015, [Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center] said… veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center are bracing for the worst.
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/1/6/in-warming-ocean-record-numbers-of-seals-and-sea-lions-are-sick-or-starving.html


(Volunteers using wooden sheilds to corrall an evasive animalAzure Gilman / Al Jazeera America)
Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center: “They were basically just skin and bones. Their liver, their pancreas, their intestines were basically shut down. And they were eating themselves from the inside to stay alive by the time we saw them… If it continues, if this is the new normal, the sea lion population and the fur seal population in California are going to have severe drops in their overall population.”

http://www.lagunabeachindy.com/sea-lion-pups-in-trouble-again/
Laguna Beach Independent, Dec 18, 2015: With the lowest body weights ever documented, California sea lion pups are not only starving from lack of food, they’re infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics, said [Keith Matassa] the director of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center… A record number of emaciated and dying sea lion and seal pups is expected along local shores this winter… Last year, 3,500 sea lions and seals were rescued by various California marine rehab facilities. This year, the stranded pinnipeds are expected to hit 4,000… The animals are riddled with intestine-perforating parasites, known as thorny-head hookworms. “We’re seeing such a high level of parasites now, it’s not normal,” said Matassa… Antibiotics for infections are proving ineffective… Conditions have “not gotten much better over the past couple of years,” [Sharon Melin, NOAA wildlife biologist] said… The food web, said Melin, “has been out of whack now for quite some time.”… The fact that northern pup seals are following suit signifies the domino effect of a distressed environment, she said… the California sea lion population tops out at 300,000… she predicts a drastic decline to 100,000 due to low food availability… “There’s so many stressors on the ocean right now,” Matassa said.


( An emaciated sea lion pup. Pups have had trouble finding their usual prey of sardines and anchovies, which are moving to cooler areas because of ocean warming caused by El Niño. Photograph: Noaa Fisheries West Coast)
Guardian, Dec 30, 2015: Unprecedented numbers of dead or starving seals washing ashore as Pacific Ocean warms, with experts saying they are ‘preparing for the worst’ in 2016… According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, there has been a huge increase in stranded sea lions… According to NOAA, more than 4,200 sick sea lions have been washed up in California so far this year, comfortably the greatest number of strandings over the past decade.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/30/el-nino-ocean-warming-seals-california-pacific


( A sea lion pup under normal weight in a picture taken in January 2015. Photograph: Noaa Fisheries West Coast)
Dr Terry Gosliner, senior curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences: “We are entering a really interesting period where the observations we make don’t have a precedent… It could take decades for these ecosystems to stabilize again.”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/30/el-nino-ocean-warming-seals-california-pacific