NRC to Conduct Seismic Risk of 27 Nukes

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 @ 05:03 PM gHale

A seismic risk assessment of Entergy’s Indian Point plant in New York next year will be the first of 27 reviews of nuclear power units at 17 plants, said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokeswoman Beth Hayden.

The NRC reported these nuclear units will receive the seismic review next year: Indian Point 2, Indian Point 3, Limerick 1, Limerick 2, Peach Bottom 2, Peach Bottom 3, Seabrook, Crystal River 3, Farley 1, Farley 2, North Anna 1, North Anna 2, Oconee 1, Oconee 2, Oconee 3, St. Lucie 1, St. Lucie 2, Sequoyah 1, Sequoyah 2, Summer, Watts Bar 1, Dresden 2, Dresden 3, Duane Arnold, Perry 1, River Bend and Wolf Creek.

The earthquake risk review is part of a new assessment NRC conducted based on 2008 revised U.S. Survey data of seismic activity in the eastern and central U.S., said Scott Burnell, an NRC spokesman. The review pre-dated the earthquake and tsunami that decimated the Fukushima nuclear stations.

Burnell categorized the findings as a “very broad brush indicator” that is not sufficient to determine the odds for earthquakes at a given nuclear reactor site.

The NRC is planning to send letters to plant operators late this year.

“The expectation is this analysis would show where plants could improve what already is an acceptable response to seismic events,” Burnell said. The 27 units selected for review showed the largest increase in seismic risk from a 1980s-era USGS study, he said.

The Indian Point site will be the first to undergo inspection by NRC next year because the revised seismic data showed the largest increase in seismic risk increase from the previous study, Hayden said.

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