Tens of thousands of sea lion pups dead or dying off California coast — “It’s getting crazy” “A crisis”

ENE News has a lot of news about the deaths and illnesses in sea life along the West Coast. This was posted on Monday.

Posted on ENE News, March 16, 2015

10,000 baby sea lions dead on one California island — Experts: “It’s getting crazy… This is a crisis… Never seen anything like it… Very difficult to see so much death” — TV: “Numbers skyrocketing at alarming rates” — “Woman is burying the rotting mammals” after digging graves at beach (VIDEOS)

NBC L.A., Mar 12, 2015 (emphasis added): “The sea lion emergency is back all along the California shore“… [Pups] are washing ashore at a rate so alarming, rescuers said Thursday, this year is the worst yetmore than 1,600 marine mammals [have been picked up].

KTLA, Mar 10, 2015: Stranding numbers for the months of January and February were more than 20 times the average [said NOAA].

ABC 10 News, Mar 14, 2015: Friday, Konnie Martinkis was burying her third sea lion… There were at least five within just more than a football field’s length that were dead… she contacted the city… but it just decomposed as more showed up… she will continue building those graves.

Coast News, Mar 12, 2015: [NOAA] said not to feed it [that] will only prolong the animals suffering.

KABC: Numbers are skyrocketing at alarming rates…Sunday, six sea lions were found dead

NY Times, Mar 12, 2015: “It’s getting crazy,” [Wendy Leeds, animal-care expert at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center] said… Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist with [NOAA said] “We do expect the population to take a drop… probably a really good hit”… Michele Hunter, the center’s director of animal care, said, “It’s very difficult to see so much death.”

Sacramento Bee, Mar 7, 2015: Tens of thousands of pups birthed last summer are believed to be dying on the islands… some [are] desperately trying to climb onto small boats or kayaks… Scientists noted a worrisome anomaly in 2013, when 1,171 famished pups were stranded… scientists blamed the phenomenon on unseasonably cold watersOn San Miguel… Melin said researchers believe “probably close to 10,000 are dead, and we expect more to die over coming months”… the mortality rate is similar on San Nicolas.

Time: Experts at NOAA say that the culprit is rising ocean temperatures [note “unseasonably cold” ocean temps were the culprit during the record strandings in 2013]… a NOAA climate expert said that they do not believe the stranding increase is tied to climate change.

Marine Mammal Center, Mar 5, 2015: It’s clear these sea lions are trying to tell us something. Their very presence here in such great numbers at this time of year is sounding an alarm up and down the coast… it signals something complex happening in our ocean… sea lions are very sensitive to their environment… alerting us to major changes in the ocean… The scene on the Channel Islands this year is grave, worse even than what researchers saw in 2012, before the Unusual Mortality Event in 2013… “What’s scary is that we don’t know when this will end,” says Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at The Marine Mammal Center. “This could be the new normal—a changed environment that we’re dealing with now.”

LA Daily News, Mar 13, 2015:  “By the end of January, we had as many as we did in (all of) 2013,” [Marine Mammal Care Center’s David Bard] said… “We’ve never seen anything like this with back-to-back events that are affecting the same part of the population,” Melin said.

Dr. Melin: “Based on what we are seeing… we should be bracing for a lot more animals

CBS Los Angeles, Mar 9, 2015: [California Wildlife Center’s Jeff Hall] says the event has escalated into a crisis. “I would personally consider this a crisis,” Hall said… The epidemic has prompted a number of volunteers to step forward, including… television personality Kat Von D [who said] “I think there’s a lack of awareness of what’s going on in the environment.”

TV broadcasts here: NBC | KTLA | ABC | ABC | CBS

 

http://enenews.com/experts-10000-baby-sea-lions-dead-one-california-island-getting-crazy-very-difficult-death-crisis-tv-numbers-skyrocketing-alarming-rates-woman-digging-graves-beach-bury-dead-bodies-videos

Diablo Canyon: PG&E secretly used wrong design data for key safety equipment for 30 years

Press release from Friends of the Earth

Utility misled California PUC, seeks to pocket $133.5 million in ratepayer revenues

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. used incorrect earthquake and accident data when building crucial safety equipment for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, according to information released by Senator Barbara Boxer. Friends of the Earth said the revelation suggests that PG&E has acted with gross negligence and that the twin-reactor plant on California’s Central Coast should be immediately shut down pending a public investigation.

Correspondence from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission — released by Sen. Boxer in a recent hearing and reported Sunday on Page 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle (PDF) — shows that since Diablo Canyon’s first reactor came online in 1984, PG&E failed to use updated seismic and loss-of-coolant-accident data, known as LOCA loads, for replacement equipment. Failure of such equipment in an earthquake could lead to a catastrophic release of radiation. PG&E should have used new data after a previously unknown fault, the Hosgri, was discovered during initial construction, but violated its federal operating license by failing to use the updated data in conjunction with loss of cooling accident data in designing and constructing replacement steam generators and reactor vessel heads for the reactors.

In 2011, PG&E notified the NRC of its decades-long negligence, but incredibly, the NRC failed to cite PG&E for any infraction. Instead NRC and PG&E worked together to secretly and illegally alter the plant’s operating license in September 2013. Friends of the Earth has a case pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals asking that the illegal license revision be thrown out and that Diablo Canyon be shut pending public review to determine whether or not the reactors can withstand the forces of newly identified earthquake faults that surround the plant.

Instead of addressing its malfeasance, PG&E launched an internal effort to try to show that despite using the wrong design data, the equipment it had installed was OK. PG&E has asked the California Public Utilities Commission for $133.5 million from ratepayers for what it calls a “Licensing Basis Verification Program.” The utility did not explain that they were asking to bill their customers for a paper exercise to cover up its negligence in the faulty design of well over $1 billion worth of equipment, also paid by customers.

Since the Hosgri Fault was discovered, new research has revealed that at least four faults surrounding Diablo Canyon are capable of causing earthquakes more powerful than the reactors were designed to withstand The plant’s former NRC senior resident inspector, Dr. Michael Peck, warned last year that the increased risks from earthquakes meant that the plant was operating outside of its license and should be shut pending review — a warning that came before the revelations about PG&E’s use of outdated safety data.

“This shows gross negligence by PG&E and a shameful lack of oversight by federal regulators,” said Damon Moglen, senior strategic advisor to Friends of the Earth. “It’s terrifying to think that for 30 years PG&E used the wrong numbers for vital equipment at the U.S. reactors most at risk from earthquakes.”

“No one would dream of putting nuclear reactors in that location today,” Mogen said. “Diablo Canyon should never have been constructed in the first place, and now it is clear it should not be allowed to operate another day. Diablo Canyon must be shut down now, and there should be both state and federal investigations into PG&E’s negligence.”

Dave Freeman, former head of the federal Tennessee Valley Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, said PG&E’s negligence fits the utility’s pattern of cutting corners on safety, which led to the fatal gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno in 2010.

“There they go again,” said Freeman, now senior energy advisor to Friends of the Earth. “Just as with San Bruno, PG&E has again put profits before safety, has misused ratepayers’ money and misled state regulators at the PUC.”

Expert Contact: Damon Moglen, (202) 352-4223, dmoglen@foe.org

Communications Contacts: Bill Walker, (510) 759-9911, bw.deadline@gmail.com (West Coast)  Adam Russell, (202) 222-0722, arussell@foe.org (East Coast)

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http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2015-03-diablo-pge-secretly-used-wrong-data-for-safety-equipment#sthash.8DQl1ReI.dpuf

San Francisco Chronicle article:
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/PG-E-overlooked-key-seismic-test-at-Diablo-Canyon-6
121386.php

Mocked and attacked, sick US Navy sailors disappear as government doctors bury truth about Fukushima radiation

Posted on Global Research, March 10, 2015
By David Gutierrez

U.S. Navy sailors exposed to radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been falling ill, even as the Defense Department insists that they were not exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Many of the sailors have now joined in a class action lawsuit against Fukushima operators and builders Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), Toshiba, Hitachi, Ebasco and General Electric.

Even if they wanted to — which many do not — the sailors would be unable to sue the Navy. According to a Supreme Court ruling from the 1950s known as the Feres Doctrine, soldiers cannot sue the government for injuries resulting directly from their military service.

Mocked and attacked

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. It was the worst nuclear disaster in history, releasing twice as much radioactive material as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

That same day, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was redirected to the coast of Japan to participate in relief work for tsunami survivors. When sailors from the ship later began to fall ill, Congress asked the Defense Department for a report on the issue. The Pentagon report concluded that the sailors had not been exposed to enough radiation or contaminated water to cause health effects.

Yet in the four years since the disaster, at least 500 sailors have fallen ill, and 247 of them have joined the class-action suit. The 100-page legal complaint chronicles their symptoms: an airplane mechanic suffering from unexplained muscle wasting; a woman whose baby was born ill; a sailor told his health problems must be genetic, even though his identical twin is perfectly healthy; and case after case of cancer, internal bleeding, abscesses, thyroid dysfunction and birth defects.

The defendants initially claimed that they could not be sued in a U.S. court, so plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Garner asked the sailors to come to a court hearing in San Diego, to offer moral support.

Nearly all of them refused, for fear of public attack. Initial plaintiff Lindsey Cooper, for example, had already been mocked by atomic energy experts on CNN and by conservative radio hosts. Others were afraid of being perceived as anti-military, or un-American.

Powerful interests at stake

Only one plaintiff was willing to show up: Lieutenant Steve Simmons. Once a triathlon runner, Simmons fell ill a year after returning from Japan, suffering from hair loss, muscle wasting, migraines, bloody discharge and incontinence. His fingers turned yellow or even brown, and his feet have now turned dark red. He suffers from whole-body spasms and must now use a wheelchair.

He has never received a diagnosis for his problems, and sometimes he wonders if his Defense Department doctors are deliberately withholding one, so that the Department need not be held responsible. One doctor, he said, told him it would be better if he didn’t know the cause of his illness.

Disturbingly, Spiegel Online reported:

Early on, [Simmons] was in a military hospital in Washington DC together with three other men who had similar symptoms, he says. They had served on nuclear-powered submarines, but they disappeared from one day to the next, and when he asked what happened to them, everyone acted as though they had never been there in the first place.

Simmons believes that the Navy meant to do good with the mission to Japan, and does not blame USS Ronald Reagan‘s commander, Captain Thom Burke, for what happened to him. But he is troubled by Burke’s silence now, he says. He believes that Burke will not speak out about the case because he hopes to become an admiral.

“Personal, diplomatic and economic interests are all at stake,” Simmons said.

“They’re leaving us alone. They’re closing their eyes, keeping quiet and waiting for it to blow over. There are sick soldiers everywhere, many in the hospital in San Diego, or in the medical center in Hawaii. They are ordinary folks who are poorly insured, with family and kids. Loyal and scattered. Most of them don’t know how to react. Those who raise their voices are denounced in the Internet for being unpatriotic. You have to put up with a lot.”

Sources for this article include: 

http://enenews.com

http://www.spiegel.de

http://www.naturalnews.com/048942_US_Navy_sailors_Fukushima_radiation.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/cover-up-us-navy-sailors-disappear-as-government-doctors-bury-rruth-about-fukushima-radiation/5435745