Ground-water studies for nuclear power plant siting
Ground-water studies for nuclear power plant sites call for extraordinary and extensive effort in comparison to site investigations for more conventional, large engineering structures, primarily to assure the stability and safe operation of the plant. Providing that assurance may require unusually complex design solutions to foundation problems. Basic data collection must be extensive and thorough in response to the requirements of the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) for a detailed and well-documented description on the occurrence and movement of ground water in the site vicinity. The ground-water studies presented in the SAR must demonstrate that normal operation of the plant will not have a serious impact on the ground water and that water levels will not rise to a height that might affect the stability of plant foundations. Further, the studies must be thorough enough to assure that any accidental spill of radioactive fluid will either be dispersed harmlessly or will be intercepted by a monitoring system before the spill could percolate to a usable off-site aquifer.
Figures & Tables
During the “great decade” of siting and construction of nuclear power plants that ended in 1975, the nuclear industry mustered the largest geologic task force in this country’s history, resulting in rapid advances in geologic technologies. Many of the advances are discussed in this volume, a major contribution to engineering geology. Subjects treated are the regulatory, siting, and licensing processes; seismicity of the central and western U.S., with a consumer’s guide to instrumental methods for determination of hypocenters; and techniques, such as remote-sensing, microfacies analysis, dating techniques in faults, trenching as an exploratory method, borehole geophysics, and ground-water studies. Includes a useful glossary.