Siting Nuclear Reactors

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Quark Scan Inc.
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Siting Nuclear Reactors

Post by tridens »


I am looking to hire a team to conduct seismic surveys in order to help de-risk potential project locations for advanced nuclear reactors. Would greatly appreciate any thoughts on cost, companies that perform this work, different methods, timing, etc.

The goal is to evaluate a portfolio of ~50 acre sites and to choose locations where risk (or cost to mitigate risk) is minimal. Subsequently, we would perform coring and a more detailed geo-technical / seismic analysis of each promising site for regulatory purposes, but our hope is we can reduce the risk of surprises.

Thank you!
Quark Scan Inc. - underground utility locating and geophysical survey services in NJ NY and PA
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Re: Siting Nuclear Reactors

Post by 99thpercentile »

There is already a lot of information available online for site geology from the USGS as well as Vs30 seismic site classification data at a coarse scale. I would explore all of that first as having me send a field crew to multiple 50 acre sites would be really expensive. You would want to reduce the scope significantly first. We can easily collect 2000-3000 linear feet of manual seismic refraction tomography (SRT) as well as active and passive multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW). We can increase collection rates if the sites are driveable so that we can use an accelerated weight drop (AWD) source and land streamer. We have a 60 mile AWD and land streamer survey that we are starting soon.
Ryan E. North, PhD, RPG, GISP
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Re: Siting Nuclear Reactors

Post by dougcrice »

My experience is that the biggest concern (or opportunity to try and kill nuclear power) is faults. They find an insignificant fault that hasn't moved in a couple of hundred thousand years and claim that it represents a danger to the nuclear power plant, even though a properly designed plant can withstand a major earthquake in the immediate vicinity. This was used on Diablo Canyon among other facilities. So, it's better to look at that problem first. Start with geologic maps, but you may need to do some reflection seismic to check for faults.

Most any foundation problems can be solved with good design practice.

For fun reading, take a look at some less technical articles I wrote considering faults and foundations: ... eophysics/ and ... e-article/
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