[ RadSafe ] Fukushima, Tsunamis, Quakes, Pigs Flying...

Karen Street Karen_Street at sbcglobal.net
Mon Mar 19 17:54:53 CDT 2012

As I understand it, the Japanese approach is to look at the historical record, up to a point; obviously they were ignoring once in a millennium earthquakes. The American approach is to figure out what maximum ground motion is possible in the area.

I assume that NRC has figured out what kind of tsunami West Coast reactors could see, and that it is re-evaluating these assumptions. When the VA earthquake hit, NRC was well into a project to reconsider if areas like VA could see more earth movement than had been assumed. (The answer is yes.)

> Dear Radsafe,
>     From:    _jpreisig at aol.com_ (mailto:jpreisig at aol.com)       .
>     Hey all,
>          Yep, Radsafe has had  discussions about quakes, tsunamis, planes 
> flying into reactors etc.
> What should we have done earlier????
>          Many of Japan's  reactors are right along the ocean coastline.  
> With knowledge of the  quakes,
> tsunamis. etc. there, perhaps building a 20 to 40 foot tall sea wall along  
> the coast (near each reactor)
> should be done.  Large magnitude 8.0 or so earthquakes appear to occur  in 
> Japan about every 25
> years or so.  I could do a PhD on Japan quakes, tsunamis, etc. and  still 
> come up with a similar
> number.  The earthquake associated with Fukushima was in the vicinity  of 
> magnitude 9.0, which
> probably doesn't happen once in 100 years.  Compare this with a  reactor 
> lifetime of 40 to 60
> years...  I expect the rest of Japan's reactors should remain in  service 
> until the end of their lifetime.
>       Magnitude 9.0 events are not all that  common... Chile and Alaska in 
> the 1960's,
> a recent Chilean event, the 2 to 3 earthquakes in Indonesia occuring around 
> 2000 - 2010,
> the recent Fukushima-associated earthquake....
>       A gentleman with a pretty profound  knowledge of Japanese 
> earthquakes and earthquakes
> in general is Dr. Hiroo Kanamori of Caltech (California USA).  I don't  
> know if Dr. Kanamori still
> gives public seminars/lectures, but maybe some southern California HP  
> chapter could invite him to
> one of their meetings to give a talk.
>      Fukushima reactor engineering was pretty  darned good, considering 
> the hazard involved.
> Most US nuclear plants have NO tsunami risk.  Is San Onofre the  
> exception????
>      Right now, for the next 6 weeks or so is  earthquake season (global), 
> and the main question is
> where???  Location, location, location....!!!!!  So, if you  notice your 
> cats, dogs, horses,
> cows, pigs, etc. acting strangely, maybe there is a reason.   Previously, 
> there have been reports of 
> strange animal behavior in China prior to very large earthquakes.
>      Bolt's book on Earthquakes is pretty good  for a public audience, 
> with Stacey for general 
> geophysics and Aki and Richards for Graduate level Seismology (complete  
> with earthquake
> source terms and Green's functions).  Peruse the last book at your own  
> risk.
>      Be good.
>      Regards,     Joseph R.  (Joe) Preisig, PhD

Best wishes, 
Karen Street
Friends Energy Project
blog http://pathsoflight.us/musing/index.php

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