Southern California Edison (SCE) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego will collaborate on a project to gather seismic data off the coast of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Work will begin later this year and continue through 2013, SCE announced.

The project, led by Scripps scientists, will involve collecting and processing data from 2-D and 3-D multichannel seismic reflection and refraction off San Onofre State Beach. The seismic reflection and refraction surveys, which will be carried out by specially equipped boats, will image the offshore structures at an unprecedented resolution, allowing scientists to test between the alternative hypotheses for the tectonic deformation observed off San Onofre. The raw and processed survey data will be open-source and available to the public as well as other experts.

In addition, geophysical surveys will reveal vertical motions of the crust through time, associated with margin reorganization.

“Our number one priority is safety, and seismic safety plays an important role in our operations at the plant,” said Caroline McAndrews, SCE director of nuclear strategic projects. “Having Scripps take the lead on this important project will provide us with objective and world-class expertise in geophysics, and increase our understanding of SONGS’ seismic setting. This knowledge is key to ensuring the continued safe operation of SONGS.”

Both units at SONGS remain offline for inspection, analysis and testing of the steam generators.

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