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San Onofre nuclear power plant closure may avert disaster

Located on the beautiful Southern California pacific ocean coast, the San Onofre nuclear power generation plant is being closed because of problems in steam generator systems according to a report in today’s LA Times.

The Gig Harbor Times applauds this decision not because the nuclear plant is old and worn but because it represents a monstrous hazard in terms of environment, health and safety.

The San Onofre nuclear plant sea wall is 25 feet tall. It was designed to withstand a 7.0 earthquake according to a March 2011 LA times article .  The geological fault most likely to directly threaten the San Onofre nuclear plant lies about 5 miles offshore according to the article.

Consider the tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was  built 32 feet above sea level  and its seawater pumps built 13 feet above sea level.  The tsunami height coming ashore was 49 feet. The earthquake was a  magnitude 9.0

Additionally, the Tohoku tsunami earthquake in Japan lowered the ground (subsidence) by one to four feet.  The sea wall designed to protect the town of Kamaishi was easily overcome.

The San Onofre nuclear generation station seawall on the pacific coast of California – a disaster waiting to happen:

“Fukushima”  is the nuclear power plant.
“Tokoku” is the main earthquake generated tsunami.
“Kamaishi” is the town with the sea wall that was overcome.

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