NRC Shares Ongoing Seismic Research on Eastern and Central U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

From the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has informed U.S. nuclear power plants about the agency’s ongoing examination of updated earthquake information and modeling for the eastern and central parts of the country.

Recent applications for new nuclear power plants referenced this updated seismic information, which includes Electric Power Research Institute models of earthquake ground motion. NRC staff have used the agency’s Generic Issues Program to analyze that data, as well as recent U.S. Geological Survey findings, with regards to existing eastern and central reactor sites. Western U.S. reactor locations already take into account that area’s greater seismic activity.

“Reactors in eastern and central states remain safe, since our analysis confirms that overall seismic risk remains low. Nuclear power plants have been designed and built considering the most severe historical earthquake in their vicinity, taking into account the uncertainties in the area’s seismic record,” said Eric Leeds, Director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. “We’re continuing to examine the recently updated earthquake information.”

The NRC also used the updated information to confirm spent reactor fuel storage sites and fuel cycle facilities remain safe. The NRC’s Information Notice on the subject is available from the agency’s electronic document database, ADAMS, by entering ML101970221 in the ADAMS search engine here: http://adamspublic.nrc.gov/fnopenclient/.