In a report prepared before the recent East Coast earthquake, the Associated Press delved into earthquake prepardness at U.S. nuclear power plants. As the Boston Globe reported today:
The risk that an earthquake would cause a severe accident at a US nuclear plant is greater than previously thought, 24 times as high in one case, according to an Associated Press analysis of preliminary government data. The nation’s nuclear regulator believes a quarter of America’s reactors might need modifications.
The issue was brought into sharp focus by last week’s earthquake and aftershocks, which shut down the two reactors at North Anna in Virginia. According to the Boston Globe:
The two North Anna reactors are among 27 in the eastern and central United States that a preliminary Nuclear Regulatory Commission review has said may need upgrades. That is because those plants are more likely to get hit with an earthquake larger than the one their design was based on. Just how many nuclear power plants are more vulnerable will not be determined until all operators recalculate their own seismic risk based on new assessments by geologists, something the agency plans to request later this year.
Forbes listed the most vulnerable nuclear plants in a report this morning:
The Perry 1 reactor in Ohio tops the list with the steepest rise in the chance of core damage: 24 times as high as thought in 1989. The four other plants with the largest increases include River Bend 1 in Louisiana, up nine times; Dresden 2-3 in Illinois, eight times; Farley 1-2 in Alabama, seven times, and Wolf Creek 1 in Kansas, also seven times. The smallest increase was the 38 percent at North Anna.
And, this just in, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Alaska this morning….