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So Many Faults


December 10, 2012 headline on the phys.org website: Japan May Scrap Nuclear Plant Over Seismic Fault.

Geologists said Monday a Japanese nuclear plant may be sited over an active seismic fault, indicating that it will probably be scrapped.”

There’s a confluence of 13 “known” fault systems around and under the Diablo Canyon Nuclear power plant. The east-west trending Diablo Cove Fault “runs directly under” the plants’ Unit 1 reactor. It projects offshore and intersects with the seismically active Shoreline Fault located less than a mile from the nuclear facility.

The Shoreline Fault, discovered in 2008, may be connected to the Hosgri Fault or other faults to its east. The Hosgri Fault Zone, located just 2½ miles offshore, is a right-lateral strand of the San Andreas Fault system. The tremendous earth-shaking power of the Hosgri Fault could be triggered by a rupture beginning on the Shoreline Fault Line.

Seismologist Jim Brune proved the faults around the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant would interact to give “vertical acceleration” to seismic energy, creating larger earthquakes than the plant can withstand. Additionally, there are the thousands of collaterals, which are faults that branch off major fault lines. The devastating Whittier earthquake of 1987 as well as the 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred along fault lines that scientists didn’t even know were there.

It’s time to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant while we still have the chance.

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