Assessment of the Relevance of Displacement Bases Design Methods/Criteria to Nuclear Plant Structures (NUREG/CR-6719)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2001
Date Published: July 2001

Prepared by:
Y. K. Wang, C. A. Miller, C. H. Hofmayer

Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973-5000

J. F. Costello, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code W6245

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The objective of the work described in this report is to evaluate the extent to which displacement based methods may be useful to evaluate the seismic response of nuclear power station structures. A literature review of displacement based seismic design methods was completed during the first phase of the project. As a result of this review it was decided to investigate the displacement based method outlined in FEMA 273 by applying it to two structures.

The first structure considered was a four story reinforced concrete building with shear walls. FEMA 273 pushover analysis methods were compared with nonlinear time history analysis and response spectrum analysis including ductility factors. The comparisons show that the FEMA analysis results are comparable to those achieved with the current force based methods.

The second structure analyzed was the Diablo Canyon nuclear power station turbine building. The main portion of this building is a reinforced concrete shear wall building that contains the turbine. The turbine is mounted on a pedestal which is a reinforced concrete frame structure. It is separately founded from the building and separated from the building by gaps at the operating floor. These gaps close under large earthquakes resulting in geometric nonlinearities. The results predicted with the FEMA analysis are found to compare poorly with nonlinear time history analyses.

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