WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. nuclear power reactors facing the highest risks of a meltdown from earthquakes are not in tremor-prone California, but states including South Carolina and Missouri, an analysis of government data published on Thursday said.
The U.S. reactor facing the highest risk is Duke Energy Corp’s H.B. Robinson near Hartsville, South Carolina, according to the analysis hereby the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Robinson faces a one in 7,700 chance annually that a quake would cause a meltdown, said the analysis, based on Duke’s estimates submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). That risk is five times higher than for each of PG&E Corp’s two Diablo Canyon reactors, the only ones left in California. Those reactors are scheduled to be shut in 2024 and 2025.
The three reactors at a Duke plant called Oconee in Seneca, South Carolina, face a one in 17,500 chance of a meltdown annually, according to the analysis.
Ameren Corp’s Callaway reactor in Fulton, Missouri faces a one in 13,800 chance of a meltdown annually, the analysis said. Barry Cox, the site vice president at Callaway, said the plant invests millions of dollars on protections against earthquakes and other natural disasters.