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Appendix B Interagency Agreement Between the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the United States Geological Survey PURPOSE: The purpose of this Interagency Agreement is to set forth a plan for establishing a network of seismic stations for monitoring seismicity in the Eastern and Central United States agreed to by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Com- mission (NRC). BACKGROUND: Frequency of occurrence, geographical distribution, and magnitude of earthquakes are important characteristics in assessing the seismic hazard of a region and establishing the design and construction criteria for a critical facility at a specific site. These characteristics are known collectively as the seismicity of a region and can only be determined through the operation of networks of seismometers that record earthquakes and analysis of these recordings. Under the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (Public Law 95- 124) the USGS is charged with assessing the earthquake hazard and devel- oping earthquake prediction systems in those areas of the United States subject to moderate-to-high seismic risk. The goal of the USGS program is to mitigate earthquake losses that can occur in many parts of the United States by providing research, evaluations, and earth science data for land- use planning, engineering design, and emergency preparedness decisions. Specific objectives of the USGS program are: (a) to evaluate the earthquake potential of the seismically active areas of the United States; (b) to provide assessments of earthquake potential of the seismically active areas of the United States; (c) to provide assessments of earthquake hazard and risk in 53
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54 APPENDIX B developed regions exposed to the earthquake threat; (d) to predict damaging earthquakes; (e) to provide data and information on earthquake occurrences to the public and scientific community; and (f) to provide data and estimates of the level and character of strong earthquake shaking to be used in earth- quake-resistant design and construction. To carry out this work the USGS supports in-house research in geology, geophysics, and engineering as well as significant supporting activities. This program is augmented and strengthened through support of complementary scientific investigations at universities, state agencies, and private companies. USGS earthquake hazards activities are coordinated with related efforts in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the National Bureau of Standards through the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. The NRC has certain responsibilities for ensuring public health and safety in regard to potential hazards associated with nuclear power plants, radioactive waste disposal facilities, and other activities involving radioactivity. Thus, the NRC has a strong interest in the delineation, assessment, and mitigation of earthquake hazards in the United States, particularly as they pertain to nuclear power plant and radioactive waste disposal facility siting, design, construction, and operation. Because most of the nation's nuclear power plants are located east of the Rocky Mountains, the NRC has provided special support for earthquake hazard delineation in the central and eastern regions of the United States. These NRC efforts contribute to the goals of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program as well as the NRC's more immediate needs. NRC-supported studies contribute to (a) the better definition of seismicity by determining the location, magnitudes, recurrence rates, and special characteristics of earthquakes; (b) the quantification for seismic hazard and the reliability of seismic hazard assessments; and (c) the definition of the relationships between seismicity of a region and its geologic structure and tectonics. Given that the objectives of the USGS and the NRC regarding regional seismicity are so interrelated, they wish to pool their resources to establish a modern seismographic network in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this agreement is to establish a network of modern seismographic stations for monitoring the seismicity in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. This objective implies a significant change in approach to monitoring the seismicity of this part of the United States and the eventual replacement of NRC's existing regional seismographic networks with an integrated network of seismographic stations covering the entire United States east of the Rocky Mountains. The general strategy for the new network is outlined in a 1980
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APPENDIX B 55 report, U.S. Earthquake Observatories: Recommendations for a New Na- tional Network, by the Panel on National, Regional, and Local Seismo- graphic Networks of the National Research Council. ELEMENTS OF AGREEMENT: 1. Beginning with Fiscal Year 1993, the USGS will assume full responsi- bility for monitoring earthquakes in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. This monitoring will be accomplished through a new integrated network of state-of-the-art seismographic stations. 2. A joint USGS/NRC working group shall prepare recommendations by November 30, 1986, for a plan for the development, testing, installation, and operation of the new seismographic stations. Based on these recommen- dations, the NRC and the USGS will develop an amendment to this agreement that will set forth the plan for the development, testing, installation, and operation of the new stations. The plan will include: a. The number and location of the stations to be built. b. A budget and schedule for acquisition of the network hardware and for the commissioning of stations. c. A protocol for timely access to times series and parameter data re- corded by the new network. The protocol will encompass access to data by federal agencies, cooperating/operating institutions, and the general public. d. A protocol describing the initial and the long-term working relation- ship among the NRC, USGS, and cooperating/operating institutions. 3. After the plan has been agreed to by the USGS and the NRC, the NRC will provide to the USGS a total sum of $5 million on the following schedule subject to the availability of appropriations: Fiscal Year 1987 1988 through 1992 Amount 3500K (The schedule of payments for this period will be set by amendment of this agreement following the completion of the recommendations of the joint working group.) These funds will be used exclusively to acquire the permanent equipment, including operating software, necessary to establish the new network. 4. The USGS shall assume full responsibility for the continuing opera- tion of the new stations as soon as reasonable after they are installed. 5. Progress shall be jointly reviewed by the NRC and the USGS in sem
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56 APPENDIX B annual meetings. Minutes of the meeting will be taken and provided to the cognizant NRC and USGS management. Any unresolved issues will be highlighted as appropriate. 6. By entering into this agreement, the USGS does not assume responsi- bility for any existing seismic monitoring equipment or other related activities currently supported by the NRC through contracts or other legal instruments. 7. Either party to this agreement may terminate the agreement by provid- ing 90 days' written notification. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission BY: - NAME: TITLE: Executive Director for Operations USNRC DATE: U.S. Geological Survey BY: NAME: Dallas Peck TITLE: Director, USGS DATE: