Nuclear Power Plants In South Asia Face Tsunami Risk, Say Scientists
October 2, 2012
In total, 23 nuclear power plants are in dangerous areas, including Fukushima I, with 74 reactors located in the east and southeast of Asia . As tsunamis are still difficult to predict, a team of scientists  have assessed "potentially dangerous" areas that are home to completed nuclear plants or those under construction.
In Japan , there are seven plants with 19 reactors at risk, one of which is currently under construction. South Korea is now expanding two plants at risk with five reactors. India (two reactors) and Pakistan (one reactor) could also feel the consequences of a tsunami in the plants.
Despite the fact that the risk of these natural disasters threatens practically the entire western coast of the American continent, the Spanish/Portuguese Atlantic Coast and the coast of North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and areas of Oceania, especially in South and Southeast Asia are at greater risk due to the presence of atomic power stations.
Citing a Madrid datelined SPX news on Sept. 24, 2012 Nuclear Power Daily said:
A study headed by Spanish researchers has for the first time identified those atomic power plants that are more prone to suffering the effects of a tsunami.
In the study published in the Natural Hazards journal, the researchers drew a map of the world's geographic zones that are more at risk of large tsunamis. Based on this data, 23 nuclear power plants with 74 reactors have been identified in high risk areas. One of them includes Fukushima I. Out of those, 13 plants with 29 reactors are active; another four, that now have 20 reactors, are being expanded to house nine more; and there are seven new plants under construction with 16 reactors.
"We are dealing with the first vision of the global distribution of civil nuclear power plants situated on the coast and exposed to tsunamis," as explained to SINC by Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Llanes, coauthor of the study and researcher at the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium . The authors used historical, archaeological, geological and instrumental records as a base for determining tsunami risk.
For Debarati Guha-Sapir, another coauthor of the study and CRED researcher, "the impact of natural disaster is getting worse due to the growing interaction with technological installations."
Some 27 out of 64 nuclear reactors that are currently under construction in the world are found in China . This is an example of the massive nuclear investment of the Asian giant. "The most important fact is that 19 (two of which are in Taiwan ) out of the 27 reactors are being built in areas identified as dangerous," state the authors of the study.
"The location of nuclear installations does not only have implications for their host countries but also for the areas which could be affected by radioactive leaks," as outlined to SINC by Joaquin Rodriguez-Vidal, lead author of the study and researcher at the Geodynamics and Paleontology Department of the University of Huelva.
The study said: we should learn lessons from the Fukushima accident. For the authors, prevention and previous scientific studies are the best tools for avoiding such disasters. "But since the tsunami in 2004 the Indian Ocean region is still to take effective political measures," warn the researchers.
The Fukushima crisis took place in a highly developed country with one of the highest standards in scientific knowledge and technological infrastructure. "If it had occurred in a country less equipped for dealing with the consequences of catastrophe, the impact would have been a lot more serious for the world at large," claim the experts.
Professor Rodriguez-Vidal recommends the drafting of more local analyses that consider the seismic amplification of each nuclear power plant and determine the adaptation of installation identified in the study.
 Rodriguez-Vidal, Joaquin; Rodriguez-Llanes, Jose M.; Guha-Sapir, Debarati. “Civil nuclear power at risk of tsunamis” Natural Hazards 63 (2): 1273-1278 DOI: 10.1007/s11069-012-0162-0, septiembre de 2012.
“23 nuclear power plants are in tsunami risk areas”, http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/23_nuclear_power_
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