September 30, 2012
Joe Johnston photo

In this Dec. 12, 2011 photo, workers lower equipment off the marine research vessel Bluefin to carry out a seismic ocean survey near Avila Beach, Calif. State and federal officials are juggling concerns over endangered whales and other marine life with public safety as they mull over plans to use massive air canons to create new earthquake fault maps in two state marine reserves off the Central Coast. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants to use the canons to make maps of shoreline fault zones recently discovered near its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The massive reverberations caused by the air canons is picked up by sensors placed in the water, allowing scientists to gain detailed data about the makeup of the seafloor and faults.

Michael Mariant photo

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2005 file photo is the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in Avila Beach, Calif. State and federal officials are juggling concerns over endangered whales and other marine life with public safety as they mull over plans to use massive air canons to create new earthquake fault maps in two state marine reserves off the Central Coast. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants to use the canons to make maps of shoreline fault zones recently discovered near its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Michael Mariant photo

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2008 file photo, Pacific Gas and Electric’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s nuclear reactors are seen in Avila Beach, Calif. State and federal officials are juggling concerns over endangered whales and other marine life with public safety as they mull over plans to use massive air canons to create new earthquake fault maps in two state marine reserves off the Central Coast. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants to use the canons to make maps of shoreline fault zones recently discovered near its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.