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Japan Meltdown Risk Stirs Fears Over SoCal Nuclear Plants

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The safety of Southern California's two nuclear power plants are facing increased scrutiny in the wake of the catastrophic quake that has left Japanese nuclear officials scrambling to ward off a widespread meltdown.

KNX 1070's John Brooks reports that despite being located on the coastline in a tsunami zone and near earthquake faults, plant operators say there's no immediate threat to the state.


The two-reactor Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo and Southern California Edison's twin-reactor San Onofre plant are pressurized water reactors.

Diablo Canyon was built to withstand a 7.5 magnitude quake, while Edison's Gil Alexander says San Onofre could handle a magnitude 7.0 temblor and a 30-foot-high tsunami.

However, there are already calls for a moratorium on new nuclear plants until federal procedures for nuclear emergencies are ironed out.

Officials also want a review of existing procedures to keep reactors cool in the event that both the power grid and backup systems fail.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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