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RISK BASED SEISMIC ANALYIS OF NUCLEAR PLANTSYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES

RISK BASED SEISMIC ANALYIS OF NUCLEAR PLANTSYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES

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Published by IAEAInformation
Ram Srinivasan and Jean-Michel ThiryTechnical Consultant and Senior Expert, AREVA Inc., San Jose, CA, USASenior Expert, AREVA NP SAS, Lyon Cedex, France
Ram Srinivasan and Jean-Michel ThiryTechnical Consultant and Senior Expert, AREVA Inc., San Jose, CA, USASenior Expert, AREVA NP SAS, Lyon Cedex, France

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Published by: IAEAInformation on Sep 10, 2012
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RISK BASED SEISMIC ANALYIS OF NUCLEAR PLANTSYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES
Ram Srinivasan and Jean-Michel ThiryTechnical Consultant and Senior Expert, AREVA Inc., San Jose, CA, USASenior Expert, AREVA NP SAS, Lyon Cedex, FranceRecent Earthquakes in Japan (2007 Chuetu-Oki, and 2011 Tohoku) and in USA (2011 Mineral,VA) have shown that plant systems, structures, and components (SSC) have considerable designmargin. For example, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Plant Unit 1 measured a basematmaximum peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 0.69g while the design basis PGA was only 0.27g.Thus, the design basis PGA was exceeded by a factor 2.5 and yet no structural damage wasreported to any of the SSC’s. Similarly during the infamous 2011 Tohoku (Magnitude 9)earthquake resulted in PGA’s at the Onagawa nuclear plants in Japan exceeding their designbasis PGA’s by up to 1.26 times and no structural damage was reported. This fact wasconfirmed by a recent (August 2012) inspection by an IAEA international expert team. The2011 Mineral, VA earthquake that shook the North Anna plants in the US resulted in thecontainment basemat response spectra exceeding the design basis response spectra over a widefrequency range (3 to 33 Hz). Yet there was no structural damage to the SSC’s.Current industry practice in the seismic analysis of nuclear plant SSC’s does not consider therelative seismic risk of the systems and structures to the plant core damage frequency (CDF).Numerous Seismic PSA and Seismic Margin Assessment have shown that several SSC’s(typically, distributed systems like piping, cable trays, etc.) have sufficiently high fragility andcontribute little seismic risk to the overall plant CDF. Past and current industry practice is togenerate very refined models and perform seismic analysis of such distributed systems with veryrestrictive design and construction acceptance criteria. Such restrictive acceptance criteria are notwarranted based on the high fragility of these systems. More realistic acceptance criteria basedon fragility and relative seismic risk considerations would be appropriate for such systems.Another area of seismic analysis that requires more realistic approach involves the responsecalculations to high frequency (> 20 Hz) ground motions. Certain site-specific ground motionresponse spectra (GMRS) in the Central and Eastern United States (CEUS) and elsewhere in theworld have frequency content greater than 20 Hz. Conventional seismic analysis practice wouldbe to generate finite element models of the SSC’s that are sufficiently refined to capture modesup to the frequency where the GMRS converges to the ZPA. The associated analytical effortwith the seismic soil-structure interaction (SSI) analysis is very significant and often resulting inapproximations in the SSI methodology (such as the SASSI subtraction method). Based onresults from seismic tests and experience data, the effects of the high frequency seismic motionsare limited to a few components (for example, electrical switches and relays). In addition, thehigh frequency ground motion itself is dampened if the spatial incoherency of the ground motionis appropriately considered. Considering the limited number of plant components potentiallyvulnerable to the HF ground motion very refined 3D models of the entire nuclear island is notwarranted. Simplified models of the overall nuclear island structures with detailed sub-models

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