First Published on Blogcritics
A San Diego earthquake (MAG 1.7) on June 29, 2012, erupted at 12:45 p.m. and was felt throughout parts of Southern California. No significant injuries or property damages have been reported; however, this event together with recent earthquake activity highlight the urgent need to prepare the area in the event of much larger earthquakes.
The California-Nevada Fault Map is centered at 33°N,117°W of on the U.S. Geological Survey. The map shows real earthquake activity in California. At least 50 recent quakes of varying magnitude hit the area as of July 1st. There were 7 earthquakes in the last day from Palm Springs to below San Diego and 1 ocean quake. Over 30 earthquakes hit the same area within the last week together with 2 ocean earthquakes. There are 4 known fault lines from Santa Anna to Palm Springs, 4 known fault lines in the adjacent Pacific Ocean, and 3 small fault lines in San Diego itself.
FEMA advises citizens to be prepared for an earthquake. A disaster kit should be maintained to include a flashlight and extra batteries, portable radio and extra batteries, first aid kit, essential medicines, and sturdy shoes. Have enough food and water for the entire family for at least three days. Further guidance can be obtained by calling FEMA at (800) 621-3362.
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) lists at least 4 nuclear power plants in California. These plants are Diablo Canyon 1 and 2 located 12 miles WSW of San Luis Obispo, CA. The plants are operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The plants are 310 miles from San Diego. In addition, San Onofre 2 and 3 are located 45 miles SE of Long Beach, CA. The plants are operated by Southern California Edison Company. These plants are located just 93 miles from San Diego.
A disaster recovery plan is necessary to ensure the continued operation of the California based nuclear power plants in the aftermath of an earthquake. The return to normal power grid operations is a primary life preservation issue in states like California which abut the San Andreas Earthquake Fault Line and other fault lines from Santa Anna to Palm Springs, the 4 known fault lines in the adjacent Pacific Ocean, and 3 small fault lines in San Diego.
The Disaster Recovery Plan sets forth the recovery scheme which includes the organizational apparatus which is empowered to move the nuclear power plants back into safe operation together with the requisite standards for returning to normal operating conditions under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements.
Another important issue is the operability and continued testing of the shutdown features for nuclear power plants in the event of an earthquake event. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is most concerned about whether or not the automatic shutdown features of a nuclear power plant actually shut down the plant in the manner and timeliness required under current regulations.
Earthquake preparedness is a hot issue in places like California due to the high density of the population, the need to protect water works, and the existence of nuclear power plants in the region. Contingency Planning is another hot issue for major companies and government offices in the region so that specific persons and alternate suppliers can be empowered to act under emergency conditions.
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