7.4.10: Other Federal Agencies
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Earthquake research by other non-NEHRP agencies principally involves the earthquake safety of those critical facilities that are their responsibility. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the successor to the Atomic Energy Commission of the 1960s, has sponsored research into earthquake hazards related to the safety of nuclear power plants. With a nuclear power plant at St. Helens, Oregon (since shut down) and unsuccessful efforts to build plants at Satsop, Washington, east of Aberdeen, and in the Skagit Valley of Washington, the NRC was the first federal agency to take a direct interest in evaluating the earthquake hazard of the Pacific Northwest, in the 1970s. The Department of Energy (DOE) has also been involved in the earthquake safety of nuclear power plants as well as the Yucca Mountain site proposed for nuclear waste disposal and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington, where cleanup operations are underway.
Dams are critical facilities as well, and this has resulted in research by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of Interior. These agencies, together with the Veterans Administration, have been responsible for installing instruments to measure strong ground motion. The Department of Defense has funded investigations through the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, which provides some support for IRIS and other seismic monitoring for nuclear test ban compliance.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides disaster relief loans to qualifying small businesses. After the Northridge Earthquake, the average SBA loan for the repair of property damage was $66,100 and the average loan for economic recovery was $34,400.