MCM projects

Probabilistic Natural Hazard Assessment

Volcanic Ash Hazard to UK Nuclear Generating Facilities (2016)

Ellie Scourse (MCM) provided input to a research project being carried out between the University of Bristol Earth Sciences department and EDF Energy, investigating the potential for ash arising from a volcanic eruption in neighbouring nations to impact the operations of nuclear power facilities in the UK.

Rokkasho Fault Review (2014)

An international team coordinated by MCM reviewed on-site active faulting at the Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL) Rokkasho site in north Japan. The objective was to undertake an independent review of JNFL’s evaluation of faults onsite, and to make a judgment on the activity of faults based on new definitions of active faults as outlined by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). An additional project to assess the potential activity of a major offshore fault using a BBN is currently being developed.

Tsuruga Fault Review (2014)

The Tsuruga nuclear power plant on the west coast of Japan lies close to a major active fault. Structures beneath the plant were asserted by the regulatory authorities to be active faults. A detailed geoscientific evaluation of the site challenged this assertion. MCM managed an independent international evaluation of the evidence and concluded that the faults beneath the plant were not active according to the regulator’s definition. This was a high-profile project requiring major public presentations and media conferences.

The TOPAZ (Tectonics Of Potential Assessment Zones) Project & International Tectonics Meetings (ITM) (2010 – 2013)

The Topaz Project (Tectonics Of Potential Assessment Zones) developed and extended the ITM methodology. Alternative conceptual models were used to characterise how the tectonic situation in a region might develop over at least 1 million years into the future and attaching expert degrees of belief to ‘Regional Evolution Scenarios’ (RES), using a formal expert elicitation methodology. These, in turn, were used to develop ‘Site Evolution Scenarios’ (SES), which describe how an RES might ‘play out’ at a specific location. The degrees of belief in different scenarios were expressed as probabilities in a logic tree and were superimposed on the event probabilities derived from the ITM methodology to arrive at probabilities of specified impacts in different timeframes. The output was used to produce Hazard Maps of large regions of Japan for different future time periods.

International Tectonics Meetings (ITM) (2004 – 2009)

The ITM Project focused on evaluating comparative tectonic hazards to possible siting regions for geological repositories for radioactive wastes in Japan and their evolution for the next 100,000 years. The principal hazards assessed were rock deformation and new volcanism. Regional Case Studies for Tohoku and Kyushu were used to develop and test the methodology for significantly differing tectonic conditions (relatively simple arc tectonics in Tohoku compared to complex and rapidly changing tectonic conditions in Kyushu).

COST Consortia Management Committee Member (2014)

The COST consortium is an expert judgement network aiming to bridge the gap between uncertainty and evidence-based decision making. MCM acted as the Swiss representative for the Management Committee for COST.

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