SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Ground sensor technology developed by scientists in California is now being used to monitor the structural integrity of nuclear facilities in Japan and elsewhere around the globe.

ShakeCast is a software application developed by engineers at the California Department of Transportation with the help of the United States Geological Survey.

“It takes data from ground sensors and it helps us analyze how an earthquake shaking may have affected a bridge,” said Caltrans spokesman David Anderson. “It provides an assessment within minutes after an earthquake.”

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Anderson said the technology has been so successful that other earthquake-prone countries have asked for assistance.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is using ShakeCast to monitor potential damage to nuclear facilities in Japan following the devastating earthquake in March and also 200 other nuclear power plants worldwide.

An updated version of ShakeCast is due out in 2014. The new version will incorporate improved bridge models and will also include assessment of soil liquefaction and landslide hazards to roadways after earthquakes.

Here in California, the software has already proved to be a valuable tool for Caltrans, as it identified the only bridge damaged during the 7.2 Calexico earthquake in Southern California last April.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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