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

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Mon Mar 19 18:19:54 CDT 2012

Dear Karen,
      Virginia earthquake was quite small, but it  did wake up people in 
the Washington DC area,
politically speaking.
      My concern for an internal continent  earthquake for the USA would be 
another magnitude
8.0 event that happened in New Madrid, Missouri around 1812 (2 such events  
happened then).
Assuming a recurrence time of 300 years (based on fault trenching and/or  
studies in Missouri). such an event might realistically happen by 2112 or  
so.  That part of the USA,
the east coast, the midwest (Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, 
 Dallas, etc.)
would ring like a very resonant bell and the ground motion would be felt  
all over that part of the USA.
Cruddy masonry structured buildings built on loose ground would fail  
miserably, killing many
people.  Earthen dams would probably fail.  I'm not sure I want  to be 
around for such an event.
Another California large event will happen fairly soon??? also.  See  
Journal of Geophysical
Research, Geophysical Journal International and/or Bulletin of the  
Seismological Society of
America for relevant technical papers.
      Your comments are appreciated.
      Regards,   Joseph R. (Joe)  Preisig, PhD
In a message dated 3/19/2012 6:56:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
Karen_Street at sbcglobal.net writes:

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, 
> 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  
> the coast (near each reactor)
> should be  done.  Large magnitude 8.0 or so earthquakes appear to occur  
> Japan about every 25
> years or so.  I could do a PhD on  Japan quakes, tsunamis, etc. and  
> come up with a  similar
> number.  The earthquake associated with Fukushima was in  the vicinity  
> 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  
> until the end of their  lifetime.
>       Magnitude 9.0 events are  not all that  common... Chile and Alaska 
> the 1960's,
>  a recent Chilean event, the 2 to 3 earthquakes in Indonesia occuring 
> 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 
> 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.   
> 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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