Tsunamis are synonymous with the destruction of cities and homes and since the Japanese coast was devastated in March 2011 we now know that they cause nuclear disaster, endanger the safety of the population and pollute the environment. As such phenomena 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 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 them, 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 José Manuel Rodríguez-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.