it is near a fault line
The Brunswick plant is built near a fault line that runs along the Carolinas coast from Charleston, S.C.,Hughes says.
Almost 25 General Electric-designed nuclear reactors in the United States are very similar to reactors in Japan threatened with a catastrophic meltdown.
The 23 American reactors in 13 states are GE boiling-water reactors with GE's Mark I systems for containing radioactivity, the same containment system used by the reactors in trouble at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission database that MSNBC accessed.
In addition, 12 American reactors in seven states have the later Mark II or Mark III containment system from GE.
An explosion occurred Monday at a second reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi facility, following Saturday’s explosion at another reactor there, and engineers are desperately trying to stave off a meltdown of the reactor cores.
The six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant are all GE-designed boiling-water reactors, according to the anti-nuclear advocacy group Nuclear Information and Resources Service (NIRS).
The group says that five have containment systems of GE's Mark I design, and the sixth is a Mark II design. They were placed in operation between 1971 and 1979.
The Mark I has design problems, the NIRS has said.
"Some modifications have been made to U.S. Mark I reactors since 1986, although the fundamental design deficiencies remain," the NIRS said.
The following 23 U.S. plants have GE boiling-water reactors (GE models 2, 3 or 4) with the same Mark I containment design used at Fukushima, according to the NRC online database:
- Browns Ferry 1, Athens, Ala., operating license since 1973, reactor type GE 4
- Browns Ferry 2, Athens, Ala., 1974, GE 4
- Browns Ferry 3, Athens, Ala., 1976, GE 4
- Brunswick 1, Southport, N.C, 1976, GE 4.
- Brunswick 2, Southport, N.C., 1974, GE 4.
- Cooper, Brownville, Neb., 1974, GE 4.
- Dresden 2, Morris, Ill., 1970, GE 3.
- Dresden 3, Morris, Ill., 1971, GE 3.
- Duane Arnold, Palo, Iowa, 1974, GE 4.
- Fermi 2, Monroe, Mich., 1985, GE 4.
- FitzPatrick, Scriba, N.Y., 1974, GE 4.
- Hatch 1, Baxley, Ga., 1974, GE 4.
- Hatch 2, Baxley, Ga., 1978, GE 4.
- Hope Creek, Hancock's Bridge, N.J. 1986, GE 4.
- Monticello, Monticello, Minn., 1970, GE 3.
- Nine Mile Point 1, Scriba, N.Y., 1969, GE 2.
- Oyster Creek, Forked River, N.J., 1969, GE 2.
- Peach Bottom 2, Delta, Pa., 1973, GE 4.
- Peach Bottom 3, Delta, Pa., 1974, GE 4.
- Pilgrim, Plymouth, Mass., 1972, GE 3.
- Quad Cities 1, Cordova, Ill., 1972, GE 3.
- Quad Cities 2, Moline, Ill., 1972, GE 3.
- Vermont Yankee, Vernon, Vt., 1972, GE 4.
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Looked into this a bit... here's a seismic hazard map for NC/SC
Granted this is for a very short time period, but all quakes since 1973 and they're all very, very small... would hardly feel one if it hit here.
The largest quake on record in NC is from 1916 in Waynesville and it was a mag 5.6, which is pretty substantial... but a long way from Southport. The large quake in Charleston in 1886 was a 7.3, which is huge, but also a long distance from Southport, but we'd definitely feel that.
Here's a map of quake epicenters from a larger period, 1698 to 1997... the largest in our area are in the 2-4 range, which is very minor...
I did find a fault map, but it's in shapefile format and I'll have to dl it and make a map... will try and do later...