Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for a new-build nuclear power plant site in the UK

Tromans, Iain J. and Aldama-Bustos, Guillermo and Douglas, John and Lessi-Cheimariou, Angeliki and Hunt, Simon and Davi, Manuela and Musson, Roger M. W. and Garrard, Graham and Strasser, Fleur O. and Robertson, Colin (2019) Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for a new-build nuclear power plant site in the UK. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 17 (1). pp. 1-36. ISSN 1573-1456 (

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A probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) has been conducted as part of the Safety Case justification for a new-build nuclear power plant in the UK. The study followed a cost-efficient methodology developed by CH2M and associates for safety-significant infrastructure where high-level regulatory assurance is required. Historical seismicity was re-evaluated from original sources. The seismicity model considered fourteen seismic sources which, when combined, formed six alternative seismic source models. Separate models for the median ground-motion and aleatory variability were considered. The median ground-motion model comprised a suite of ground-motion equations adjusted to the site-specific conditions using VS-kappa factors. A partially non-ergodic sigma model was adopted with separate components for the inter-event variability, and single-station intra-event variability, adjusted by a partially ergodic site-to-site variability term. Site response analysis was performed using equivalent-linear random vibration theory with explicit incorporation of the variability in the ground properties using Monte Carlo simulations. The final PSHA results were obtained by convolution of the hazard at the reference rock horizon with the site amplification factors. The overall epistemic uncertainty captured by the logic tree was assessed and compared against results from earlier PSHA studies for the same site.