Report addresses earthquake risks to power plants

February 1, 2012

Washington – A new seismic report provides information for nuclear facilities in the central and eastern regions of the United States to to help reassess their earthquake risk.

Released Jan. 31 by the Electric Power Research Institute, Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the report is part of an effort to apply lessons learned from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The project includes a new seismic model that can be used by power plants in the central and eastern United States to determine the likelihood of different levels of earthquake-caused ground motions. The report indicates the largest ground motions could occur near New Madrid, MO, and Charleston, SC.

NRC said seismic information should be considered along with an individual plant’s design and safety features to determine specific risks to the facility.