Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Earthquakes v Nuclear Power

With all that is going on in the Far East at the moment it is of no surprise that the issue of nuclear power safety is at the forefront. There have been demonstrations in Germany against the expansion of their nuclear power generation intentions - in fact this has probably helped the Germans make the decision to temporarily shut down at least seven of their older facilities until they have all been reviewed.

France is a country that relies quite heavily on nuclear power, the EDF website lists 58 reactors operating at 19 different locations throughout the French mainland. (Edit: Thanks to a French forum colleague, here's a LINK to a more comprehensive map of nuclear activities in France).

So how does this compare with the seismically active areas of France? Here are a couple of images to show just how the two overlap...

Firstly the seismic activity.

Secondly the nuclear locations.

Generally I think we're pretty safe, the seismic activity in France is at the lower end of the Richter scale although there are a couple of facilities up on the northern coast that seems to coincide with recent activity.

Time of course will tell, but I'm not personally worried - there are a lot of other more likely scenarios out there that could 'get us' first.


Tony said...

A key to the colours would have been useful.

The Wits said...

A good point - The colours represent a different month. The details of each quake can be seen by hovering the mouse over each pointer.