This happened in the mid 90's. I was obsessed by the fact that these in-plant accelerometers never worked. My thought was that if you could feel the earthquake in the plant, or surrounding neighbourhood, you better get some readings, or you would lose credibility. (Ha, ha, to that now!)
The economic benefit of these instruments would be in restart after an earthquake. There had been a nuclear plant in our sister seismic zone down near Cleveland, Ohio. It got hit by a nearby M5.0, and some instruments registered 18%g. The new plant was in hot standby at the time, getting ready for start-up. It was shut down for 6 months, until they got their act together, on what really happened. At that time, the USNRC had some balls.
Now, some utility people got the lesson that you shouldn't have any seismic instruments working, because then you can bullshit, and the plant would never have needed to shut down. That's why they all jam screwdrivers in their instruments! :) I was idealistic, and got they idea that somehow the public would be interested if a plant shut down during an earthquake, and it would be difficult to start up again without hard scientific data. I really wanted to be able to start up rapidly, since if an earthquake happened in January, we would be up shit creek. Japan had a reactor shut down 'forever' because none of their instruments worked. I now realize that the cnsc whimps would allow startup even if the place had blown-up transformers, and leaks all over the place.
Be that as it may, I was idealistic at the time. I designed a 'non-triggered' system, similar to our seismic monitors in the region. It would be networked, and should an earthquake be declared by the GSC, we could go back into the buffers and retrieve the data. This was a simple system and would work. We designed it for Bruce B.
Then the bottom fell out. Some looney director took an interest and declared that P*ering would be the first plant. My heart fell.... these guys didn't know how to butter bread! He stated (at some drinkfest) that his people were the best, and knew how to do all of this, without me.
But at this time the whole place fell apart. Bruce was split off, and I was chummy with the nuke-president. Suddenly, he was kicked out when Pick had their tube blowout, and the knives were after me. I had to hide! To top it off, the main president committed suicide by letting in some diabolical Americans, and they were in charge! I had them after me when I was trying to defend intellectual freedom. I was destroyed, and only the union protected me in my hermit cave.
Throughout all of this, P stumbled along with the seismic system. They mixed two incompatible concepts (triggering and buffering), and did all sorts of bizarre things. I couldn't go after them anymore.
-too painful! Will come back another time, maybe...