San Onofre or Tempting Fate

We'll all be planning that route

We're gonna take real soon
We're waxing down our surfboards

We can't wait for June
We'll all be gone for the summer
We're on surfari to stay
Tell the teacher we're surfin'
Surfin' U. S. A.

Haggerties and Swamies
Pacific Palisades
San Onofree and Sunset
Redondo Beach L. A.
All over La Jolla
At Waimia Bay

Everybody's gone surfin'
Surfin' U.S. A.

This is San Onofre State Beach, the one mentioned in the famous Beach Boys song.  It is a long stretch of sand on the southern border of Orange County where generations of young Californians learned to surf. Even my own kids were bundled into the car and driven there for surf days when they were young.

San Onofre is also the home of a nuclear power generating station built in the dazed and confused era of Orange County during the late 1970s. By dazed and confused, I mean that a there was a lot of drinking, drug taking and dealing during the construction of the power plant. Don't ask me how I know that, I just do.
I'm not saying that drugs were responsible for the fact that a 420 ton nuclear reactor vessel was installed backwards or for the fact that unit 1 had to be dismantled. But what I am saying is that I've never trusted the structural soundness of the power station.

Strong, spherical containment buildings around the reactors are designed to prevent unexpected releases of radiation. The closest tectonic fault line is the Cristianitos fault, which is considered inactive. Southern California Edison states the station was "built to withstand a 7.0 magnitude earthquake directly under the plant".

Well that's nice to know.
But what if we had an 8.9 magnitude earthquake like Japan.
Would we be having explosions and radiation leaks?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against nuclear power.
But I've never understood why any area that is seismically unstable would choose the nuclear option.