Seismic safety of nuclear power plants will improve

07/05/2015

Nordic earthquake experts convene in Espoo

Since the Fukushima accident, Nordic nuclear power plant areas have given greater priority to understanding the safety implications of seismic events. VTT and various Nordic players are co-developing new methods of making seismic hazard estimates of anticipated earthquakes in Fennoscandia.


Little source modelling-based measurement data is available on earthquakes in stable continental areas. On 8 May 2015, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd will organise a workshop aimed at identifying and sharing the relevant Nordic data.

An upcoming four-year project will also involve updating existing earthquake source modelling techniques and developing new ground motion simulation models for stable continental regions, particularly the Fennoscandian Shield.

A thorough empirical analysis has been conducted. However, a lack of empirical observations of ground motion close to actual, high-magnitude earthquakes in Fennoscandia has impeded our understanding of the seismic load caused by a potential earthquake close to a nuclear power plant. Recent developments in calculation methods are enabling the formation of calculation models that generate realistic estimates of earthquake loads.

The project's network of experts will focus on areas at low risk of seismic activity in the Nordic countries and further strengthen cooperation between VTT and Uppsala University in seismic source modelling.

In this project, the partners of VTT will be Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, Uppsala University, GEUS Geological Survey of Denmark and the Nordic leader in technical consulting, ÅF. The project will be funded by NKS Nordic Nuclear Safety Research.

The project's long-term goal will be to expand cooperation of this kind to cover the Baltic countries.

The project results will not only provide the background information required for the safety assessment of nuclear power plants, but will also be important with regard to final disposal repositories for nuclear waste. In addition, the results will be useful for the National Nuclear Power Plant Safety Research (SAFIR2018) programme's NEST project.

The "Potential of numerical methods to supplement empirical earthquake observations" workshop will be held on 8 May 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Espoo, at the address  Tekniikantie 1, Otaniemi.

Programme: http://events.vtt.fi/event/n81zq

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