Since 1991, the Southern Ontario Seismic Network (SOSN), owned by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Bruce Power, has been gathering information on seismicity and seismic hazards for an area of southern Ontario that includes a number of nuclear power stations. At the end of 2015, Nanometrics entered into a five-year agreement with previous network managers the University of Western Ontario (UWO) to oversee the management, operation, maintenance and upgrading of the network.
We ensure 24/7 management, operation and maintenance of the 22-station network, including:
routine data processing of all detected events and archiving of all manually processed events;
provision of data to UWO, IRIS and the Geological Survey of Canada;
maintenance of all equipment at the central site and all stations as well as a fully operational network over the course of the agreement;
upgrading all digitizers and communication systems to new, state-of-the-art equipment within the first 18 to 24 months of the agreement; and
storage of SOSN monitoring and support equipment.
Data quality is paramount
Data quality is paramount for this network, as it monitors a region with significantly critical infrastructure. As such, Nanometrics must alert OPG within 30 minutes should a M4+ earthquake occur within a 500 km radius of the three southern Ontario power plants.
Having handed over network management allows UWO to focus on the research and scientific development related to the resulting data. With Nanometrics in charge of maintenance and upgrading, UWO also eliminates its operational obligations for a network where most of the infrastructure is more than 10 years old and was nearing the end of its serviceable life when the agreement was signed.
With worry-free operation and the excellent data availability for OPG, and the ability for UWO to truly focus on the science, Nanometrics managing the Southern Ontario Seismic Network benefits all parties involved.