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Nuclear exhibit leaves some on the fence via Power Engineering

08/21/2011
By Story And Photos, By David Bro

Jenessa Stemke felt so strongly about attending this week’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station “open house” in San Clemente that she rode her bicycle from Riverside.

Stemke, 23, is too young to remember the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in 1986 in the former Soviet Union but says she became aware of the dangers of nuclear energy after the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Now she is determined to find out as much as she can.

Her mission, she said, was to speak face-to-face with people who run the San Onofre plant about 21/2 miles south of San Clemente. The self-described fanatic for sustainable energy said she left the event unconvinced that the energy San Onofre provides to Southern California homes and businesses is safe for residents.

According to the plant’s operator, Southern California Edison, San Onofre’s two nuclear reactors are capable of generating 2,200 megawatts of power, enough to meet the needs of 1.4 million homes at a given time.

“It’s located near an earthquake fault, and (an earthquake) is coming,” Stemke said.

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