Lawmakers Weigh Nuclear Safety After Earthquake In Japan

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Can California’s nuclear plants and gas pipelines withstand a disaster like the one that hit Japan?

State lawmakers will seek answers at a hearing today in Sacramento. They’ll also hear about tsunami damage in California from the March 11 earthquake off Japan’s coast.

Concerns about seismic safety have haunted California’s nuclear plants for decades, and geologists have identified new faults near the generators that could produce earthquakes.

The utilities that operate the plants maintain they were built to withstand the largest quakes expected in the region and safety systems are in place. But the damage in Japan and last year’s deadly natural gas explosion near San Francisco are fueling fears.

Representatives from natural gas utilities and California’s San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants plan to testify.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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