Seismic Design Standards and Calculational Methods in the United States and Japan (NUREG/CR-7230)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2013
Date Published: May 2017

Prepared by:
James J. Johnson1, Aybars Gürpinar1, Robert D. Campbell1, and Annie Kammerer2

1James J. Johnson and Associates
2United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Richard Rivera-Lugo and Scott Stovall, NRC Technical Monitors

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

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Over the years, a number of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Japan have experienced earthquake shaking and some have experienced shaking in multiple earthquakes. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has identified a need to better understand the seismic performance of Japanese NPPs and to determine if any important lessons should be applied to NPPs in the United States (U.S.). Meeting that goal requires an understanding of the design criteria used in Japan, and the differences between the practices employed in the two countries.

This report provides information on current and past U.S. and Japanese seismic design standards, calculational methods, and load combinations used for the design of new and currently operating NPPs. This report documents the relative conservatism of the U.S. and Japan seismic analysis, design, and qualification inputs and processes. Both countries generally employ techniques that provide significant margin against the earthquake shaking levels used for design. This report covers various timeframes of interest for both countries.

This report provides information in the areas of seismic hazard assessment, classification categories, soil-structure interaction analyses, structural design, subsystem analysis and design, beyond-design-basis events, and seismic instrumentation. The report provides an assessment of the conservatisms in both the U.S. and Japanese approaches.

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