AVILA BEACH -- As the world watches the nuclear crisis unravel in Japan, PG&E officials are focused on maintaining the safety and security of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
The plant was designed and tested to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake.
PG&E officials say all structures are seismically reinforced and emergency plans are in place.
"The plant's power block sits about 85 feet above sea level," said Kory Raftery, PG&E spokesperson.
It is nestled along the coast and PG&E officials say it was designed for that site.
"We have a safety blanket that allows us to operate safely where we are located," said Raftery.
There are four distinct faults near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
They are analyzed daily by geo-scientists who predict what the faults are capable of triggering.
"Their science, backed up by the USGS and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has shown that the largest credible earthquakes in our area by the surrounding faults near Diablo Canyon would be anywhere from a 6.0 to 6.5 range," said Raftery.
According to PG&E, plant components are maintained, upgraded and seismically reinforced.
In the event of a disaster, all safety systems have backup systems.
In addition to the plant's primary cooling method, there is a desalinization plant, which can be powered by diesel generators, as well as wells and fresh water pools.
"Those freshwater pools basically could be utilized in the event of a power loss and we'd need to inject cooling water into the plant," said Raftery.
If a radiation leak were to occur, an extensive emergency plan is in place.
The San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services has detailed an evacuation zone that's double the size required by the federal government.
"We're prepared for an accident and we have extensive training," said Ron Alsop, Emergency Services Manager. "We're evaluated by the federal government every two years."
People who live in on of the county's 12 evacuation zones can pick up free, potassium iodide tablets from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.
The tablets protect the thyroid gland against exposure to radioactive iodine in the unlikely event of a radiation release from a nuclear power plant emergency, according to the County Office of Emergency Services.