This story also ran in the August 2012 issue of San Diego Magazine.
The high radiation alarm that sounded Jan. 31 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station in northern San Diego County signaled trouble. At the time, it wasn’t clear just how serious it was.
Highly pressurized, scalding hot, radioactive water was leaking, deep within Southern California’s only nuclear power plant. And one of San Onofre’s thick, concrete containment domes, the infamous twin structures that resemble breasts, wasn’t doing its job. A tiny amount of radioactive particles was escaping into the environment.