Assessment of Seismic Analysis Methodologies for Deeply Embedded Nuclear Power Plant Structures (NUREG/CR-6896, BNL-NUREG-75410-2006)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2006
Date Published: February 2006

Prepared by:
J. Xu, C. Miller, C. Costantino, and C. Hofmayer
Energy Sciences and Technology Department
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, New York 11973-5000

H.L. Graves, NRC Program Manager

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

NRC Job Code Y6718

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To support the review of preliminary applications for new reactor designs, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research has sponsored a research program at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on deeply embedded and/or buried (DEB) structures. BNL investigated the extent to which procedures acceptable for shallow embedments are also adequate for deeper embedments. The overall objective of this research was to investigate the applicability of existing NRC review guidance, seismic design practice, and soil-structure interaction (SSI) computer codes to DEB structures, and to identify areas for improvement.

This report includes (1) review and evaluation of existing seismic design practice, (2) assessment of simplified vs. detailed SSI in-structure response spectrum analysis of DEB structures, (3) assessment of methods for computing seismic-induced earth pressures on DEB structures, and (4) development of criteria for benchmark problems, which could be used to validate code for computing seismic responses of DEB nuclear power plant structures. BNL's review included the existing standards, tests, and practices that have been used in the design and analysis of DEB structures, including NRC seismic analysis guidelines as outlined in the Standard Review Plan. Computer codes, especially the program entitled “A System for the Analysis of Soil-Structure Interaction,” were reviewed for applicability to the SSI analyses for DEB structures. Criteria for a set of benchmark problems were developed, and two sets of benchmark problems were completed which include pertinent attributes pertaining to DEB nuclear power plant structures.

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