United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Technical Basis for Regulatory Guidance on Design-Basis Hurricane Wind Speeds for Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG/CR-7005)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: December 2009
Date Published: November 2011

Prepared by:
P. J. Vickery
D. Wadhera
L.A. Twisdale

Dade Moeller & Associates, Inc.
1835 Terminal Drive, Suite 200
Richland, WA 99354

Selim Sancaktar, NRC Project Manager

NRC Job Code N6332

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

This report is intended to provide the technical basis for a potential new regulatory guide that will provide licensees and applicants with guidance that the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers acceptable for use in selecting the design-basis hurricane wind speeds to which a nuclear power plant should be designed to withstand to prevent undue risk to the health and safety of the public in accordance with General Design Criterion 2, “Design Bases for Protection Against Natural Phenomena,” and General Design Criterion 4, “Environmental and Dynamic Effects Design Bases,” of Appendix A, “General Design Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants,” to Title 10, Part 50, of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities.”

This report documents the approach and results of an analysis of peak-gust hurricane wind speeds with annual exceedance probabilities of 10-6 and 10-7. The analysis used a weighted sampling method to enable the simulation of 10 million years of hurricane wind speeds in the contiguous United States. The staff initiated this study because development of new wind speeds for its guidance on design-basis tornadoes (Revision 1 to Regulatory Guide 1.76, “Design-Basis Tornado and Tornado Missiles for Nuclear Power Plants”), which was based on the new Enhanced Fujita scale, resulted in a decrease in the tornado design-basis wind speeds. The design-basis tornado wind speeds presented in Regulatory Guide 1.76 correspond to the exceedance frequency of 10-7 per year. The decrease in the design basis tornado wind speeds was large enough to prompt an investigation into whether hurricane wind gusts with an annual exceedance frequency of 10-7 would exceed tornado winds at the same annual exceedance frequency. This report considers peak-gust wind speeds for hurricanes that affect the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.

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