A new map detailing all known geologic faults east of Denver has been issued by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a nonprofit utility consortium, in concert with the Department of Energy (DE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The report provides nuclear power plants in the United States new data to evaluate their vulnerability to earthquakes. It was the first major update of the map since 1989.
While researchers began the computer modeling for the map long before the earthquake and tsunami that caused last year’s Fukushima Daiichi plant disaster in Japan, that catastrophic event lent urgency to assess the American plants. Further concerns were raised by a quake last summer near Mineral, Va., that shook a twin-reactor plant there beyond the extent that its designers anticipated, resulting in its shutdown for safety checks.
The study does not calculate the risk of damage from an earthquake or even specify what amount of ground motion is likely at the reactor sites, leaving that to their owners.
The report is not light reading…however it will provide you detailed data on earthquake risks…and/or serve to help you fall asleep on those sleepless nights!
The computer model was developed by the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit utility consortium, with help from the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This website will be updated at the end of April 2012 to provide additional information including the databases used to develop the CEUS SSC model and all documentation required in the Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee (SSHAC) Level 3 assessment process.
Central and Eastern United States Seismic Source Characterization for Nuclear Facilities (CEUS SSC) Project Home Page- http://www.ceus-ssc.com/