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NEW SEISMIC MODEL WILL REFINE HAZARD ANALYSIS AT U.S. NUCLEA

Daily newsbrief journal for January 2012, also see http://www.usdemocrats.com/brief for a global 100-page perpetual brief and follow twitter @usdemocrats


NEW SEISMIC MODEL WILL REFINE HAZARD ANALYSIS AT U.S. NUCLEA

Postby admin » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:45 pm

NEW SEISMIC MODEL WILL REFINE HAZARD ANALYSIS AT U.S. NUCLEAR PLANTSThe Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released a new seismic study today thatwill help U.S. nuclear facilities in the central and eastern United States reassess seismic hazards.The Central and Eastern United States Seismic Source Characterization for Nuclear Facilitiesmodel and report is the culmination of a 4-year effort among the participating organizations and replaces previous seismic source models used by industry and government since the late 1980s.The NRC is requesting U.S. nuclear power plants to re-evaluate seismic hazards usingthis information as well as other guidance. This work is part of the agency’s implementation oflessons learned from events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The new seismic model will be used by nuclear powerplants in the central and eastern United States for these re-evaluations, in addition to being used for licensing of new nuclear facilities.The project gathered and analyzed an expanded data set – including historical earthquakeand geological data for the entire study region from 1568 through 2008 – using a rigorous, peer-reviewed assessment process. National and international experts from industry, government, academia, and various research organizations were engaged to develop the model.The model can be used to calculate the likelihood of various levels of earthquake-causedground motions. Calculations with the new model are expected to result in a higher likelihood ofa given ground motion compared to calculations done using previous models. These calculations, however, are not equivalent to a nuclear power plant’s overall risk. Plant operators must combinethe information from the new model with a plant’s design and safety features to determine site-specific risks.As part of the project, the new seismic model was compared to previous models bycalculating seismic hazards at seven test sites. The sample calculations indicate that the largest predicted ground motions could occur in the vicinity of repeated large magnitude earthquakesources, such as New Madrid, Mo., and Charleston, S.C.The report and model are available at http://www.ceus-ssc.com. -------------------------------------NRC NEWSU.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSIONOffice of Public AffairsTelephone: 301/415-8200Washington, D.C. 20555-0001E-mail: opa.resource@nrc.gov Site: www.nrc.govBlog: http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.govNo. 12-010 January 31, 2012
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The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. conducts research and development relatingto the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts fromacademia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency,health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent more than 90 percent of theelectricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to40 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte,N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was created as an independent agency byCongress in 1974 to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposeswhile protecting people and the environment. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear powerplants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements.###
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