The Madeleine Brand Show for March 17, 2011

What can California's nuclear plants withstand? A look at San Onofre's reactor design

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

View of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in north San Diego County on March 15, 2011. The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant sits at the edge of the Pacific Ocean on a 84-acre site between San Diego and Orange County and provides power to much of Southern California.

The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has raised new questions about nuclear facilities in this country. The only nuclear plant in Southern California is at San Onofre, and it's a familiar sight to anyone who's driven along the Five freeway toward San Diego. Like the Fukushima plant, and many others, San Onofre is built on the shoreline. Here to explain why the beach is such a popular place for nuclear power plants, our Steve Proffitt.


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