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Federal Regulators Deem San Onofre Nuclear Plant 'Low Risk'

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Photo by exquisitur via Flickr
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Federal regulators, concluding their first inspection of the San Onofre nuclear generating station following the events that unfolded at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, deemed the San Onofre nuclear generating station at "extremely low risk of a meltdown in an earthquake," reports the Daily Breeze.

Inspections in March and April found a few problems at the plant between Los Angeles and San Diego, including some manholes leading to tunnels housing electric cables that were not watertight because of damaged seals. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors determined the plant is prepared to deal with fires and flooding in a major disaster, according to a report issued last week.

According to plant operators, no major deficiencies were identified. The plant was deemed able to withstand "major earthquake and tsunami threats," said a spokesman for Southern California Edison, reports the Daily Breeze.

First-quarter inspections in 2010 and early this year revealed three problems of "very low safety significance," reports the Daily Breeze, that were reportedly resolved. "A commission report released earlier mentioned some problems at the plant, including roof drains clogged with 200 pounds of dead seagulls."

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Federal regulators inspected all nuclear plants in the U.S. following the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.