Analysis of Direct Seismic Risks and Its Effects on Existing Emergency Response Plans Near a Nuclear Power Station

Report Date: 

October 2001




The New England area is considered a moderate seismic risk region. A large and catastrophic earthquake is not expected to occur as often as other parts of the country, such as the State of California. But earthquakes still pose appreciable threat to the region and understanding of their consequences is important.

The direct consequences of earthquakes in the New England area are analyzed. The results of these analyses are given in terms of estimated number of damage to structures, roads and bridges, essential facilities such as hospitals, emergency response facilities, and schools, and number of casualties.

The results of direct seismic consequences are compared to risks introduced by a release of radionuclides from a nuclear reactor (Seabrook Nuclear Power Station) due to a seismic event. The nuclear-related fatality risks are much smaller than direct seismic risks, especially for a large seismic event.

The State of New Hampshire Radiological Emergency Response Plan outlines all necessary actions to be taken, including in case of an accident at Seabrook Reactor. The review of the plan suggests that the plan may fail in part or whole if there is an existing emergency (large earthquake) that inhibit the ability of the State to perform its functions to protect effected population from radiation exposure. There appears to be a need for the New Hampshire Office of Emergency Management to review its radiological emergency response plan to take into account possible seismic consequences, which lead to a release of radionuclides.


  • NSP

    Nuclear Systems Enhanced Performance


  • TR

RPT. No.: