Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on Sunday.
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They say if the plant is not shut down, the community could face something similar to Japan's Fukushima disaster last year.
The Fukushima nuclear plant was badly damaged by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami last March. The tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling systems, causing meltdowns at three reactors and spewing radiation into the air.
"We're obviously remembering them on this anniversary date, and we're also remembering that our power plant is the most dangerous in the United States," said activist Gary Headrick.
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been on the coast of Southern California since the 1960s. It provides energy for 14 million people in 1.4 million homes.
Lisa McClure, who lives nearby, attended Sunday's protest.
"I'm here because I have a 15 month-old baby," she said. "I live two miles from the nuclear power plant."
She worries what will happen to her 15-month-old daughter Kate.
Activist Ray Lutz said, "It doesn't happen right away. You get cancer over the years
you get mutations of animals and plants."
McClure said it is already happening on her street.
"Another relative who lives across the street is dying from bone cancer," she said. "Dog who plays on the beach: bone cancer
and the more we learn, the more scared we get."
The plant is working off backup power and completely shut down on their own accord in January because one reactor was broken and the other was due for a safety upgrade.
While facility operators say some radioactive materials may have seeped out, they say it does not pose a risk to the public. Operators told 10News there is no timeline when they will reopen because they want to ensure the utmost safety.
"They can't keep this plant even without an earthquake and a tidal wave," said Lutz. "You add an earthquake and a tidal wave, all bets are off. This is a disaster. We've got to close it down and the time is now."
Facility operators said a permanent closure is not necessary.
"We're designed to withstand the greatest threat that we can calculate," said Jennifer Manfre, a spokeswoman for Southern California Edison, the utility which operates the plant.
Manfre says the plant is actually designed to withstand more force than Japan's facility.
Operators could not say their safety rank but said the governing committee says they are up to safety standards.They also noted that the world is ripe with radiation, which is said even be found in bananas.
The power plant also generates much more than power. It is responsible for 3,000 jobs.
"It's very much a part of the local economy," said Manfre.
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