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Nuclear Waste at San Onofre Plant Supposedly Earthquake-Safe

San Onofre nuclear plant officials say what happened during the recent earthquake in Japan won't happen here. The Japanese quake caused a leak of radioactive waste water that was flushed into the sea.

Nuclear Waste at San Onofre Plant Supposedly Earthquake-Safe

San Onofre nuclear plant officials say what happened during the recent earthquake in Japan won't happen here. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce explains.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, is next to San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego County. It's operated by Southern California Edison. The Japanese quake caused a leak of radioactive waste water that was flushed into the sea. SONGS Plant Manager Raymond Waldo says the facility here is designed to keep that from happening.

Waldo: Our spent fuel building is a concrete structure that, if the water were to spill out of the pool, would just go down to the basement of the building and collect there in a sump. So there is no direct line that would take it to the ocean.

He says the plant has never had any earthquake-related problems. The plant was built to withstand a major 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.