SCE&G says Japan's nuclear problems unlikely here

CAYCE, S.C. (AP) - Executives of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. say the nuclear plant it operates and the two it plans to build near Columbia are not susceptible to the problems caused by the massive tsunami that has plunged Japan into a nuclear crisis.

Company officials and nuclear experts on Tuesday briefed the media on differences in design and backup cooling procedures that give their plant more time to cool down a reactor without electricity.

Japan's nuclear plants along the coast survived Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and shut down properly. The trouble came when the subsequent surge of seawater swamped diesel generators powering the backup cooling system.

SCE&G officials say they are uncertain what impact current public opinion about nuclear power may have on federal regulators who must OK the new reactors.

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