Pentagon Quake Nightmare: Fukushima on the Mississippi, Wired.com by Noah Shachtman, August 24, 2011:
In May, the federal government simulated an earthquake so massive, it killed 100,000 Midwesterners instantly, and forced more than 7 million people out of their homes. At the time, National Level Exercise 11 went largely unnoticed; the scenario seemed too far-fetched — states like Illinois and Missouri are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at the edge of one. A major quake happens there once every several generations. [... and] there are so many nuclear power plants in the fault zone [...]
“Electric power would go out, not for days, but for weeks and months in the four state region,” [Paul Stockton, the Defense Department’s senior homeland security official] said. “[...]
Including, potentially, a Fukushima on the Mississippi. 15 nuclear power plants are in the New Madrid seismic zone.
Following the Japan disaster, a task force assembled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “recommended sweeping changes to the agency’s regulatory approach to safety issues… [and] order utilities to conduct reviews of seismic safety using the latest research, and, potentially, agree to costly upgrades,” the Wall Street Journal reported last month. “A major area of concern, federal officials say, is the New Madrid seismic zone.” [...]
Published: August 24th, 2011 at 6:21 pm ET