Advancing Resilience


Seismic Monitoring for Nuclear Power Plants in the United States, as well as around the world, is one of the most rigorous applications with respect to compliance with regulations and standards. And rightly so, since a failure to fulfill its function during an earthquake could have severe consequences. Not only, for example, from a public safety and environmental perspective, but also economically due to excessive costs associated with an unnecessary plant shutdown if the site conditions cannot be verified by analysis of collected data in a timely matter.

Currently, in the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for regulating this market. And even though most countries around the world have their own institutions fulfilling a similar role, US regulations are still applied in a vast majority of countries as well.

The specific Regulatory Guides (RG) for seismic instrumentation in NPP's are:

  • RG 1.166: Pre-earthquake Planning and Immediate Nuclear Power Plant Operator Post earthquake Actions.
  • RG 1.12: Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation for Earthquakes.

Among the many seismic-related topics addressed in these regulatory guides, the shutdown criteria are critical for obvious reasons. Essentially, if a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake occurs within a 200 km (120 miles) radius of a nuclear power plant, the plant must shutdown unless it can reliably advise the NRC, within four hours, that the earthquake's effects on the plant have not exceeded its Operating Basis Earthquake (OBE) or Cumulative Absolute Velocity (CAV) design requirements.

systems and services

Today, the Condor System is the most comprehensive earthquake monitoring solution for NPPs -- including seismic-event data recording, retrieval, analysis and notification via hardware alarms and hard-copy reports -- all in one system, and the third generation of system solutions for this market from Kinemetrics.

Condor has been designed in full compliance with industry standards and regulations (IEEE, ANSI, NRC); and, in addition to the Event and SOH alarms, it provides operators and E&C personnel with extensive built-in utilities for easy maintenance.

Services provided by OSS to this market segment include system design and integration, seismic qualification testing and reporting, system commissioning and training, on-site maintenance and calibration, as well as post event data processing and interpretation.


Over the past forty years, more than 150 NPPs around the world have been instrumented with a Kinemetrics seismic monitoring solution. Today, more than 35 plants and nuclear research facilities are equipped with the Condor System Solution - among them are:
  • Nuklearna Elektrarna KRSKO NPP, Slovenia

  • Los Alamos National Security, USA

  • Browns Ferry NPP, Tennessee Valley Authority, USA

  • Chinshan TPC-1 NPP, Taiwan Power Corporation

 Open Systems & Services | 222 Vista Ave., Pasadena, CA 91107, USA | 626.795.2220 |