Earthquake Experience Data on Power and Industrial Structures: Applications to Seismic Design and Evaluation

by Steven C. Roper, EQE Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA,
Peter I. Yanev, EQE Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Seismic Experience Data—Nuclear and Other Plants


An extensive study was conducted to document the seismic performance of typical power plant and industrial structures in selected recent strong earthquakes and to correlate the performance of each structure with the seismic criteria for which it was designed. A total of 150 structures which were subjected to earthquakes producing site peak ground accelerations (PGAs) in the range of 0. 20 to 0. 60g, were examined. The construction types reviewed include steel braced frames, reinforced concrete turbine pedestals, wood cooling towers, and vertical cylindrical steel tanks. All data base structures were designed between 1940 and 1969 by Uniform Building Code (UBC) type static lateral force methods. Although the structures were subjected to PGAs up to 4. 5 times greater than their design static lateral force coefficients, damage was generally nonexistent or minimal. The data base information demonstrates that UBC type seismic design criteria, when properly applied, can provide a high level of seismic protection for power plant and industrial structures.

Subject Headings: Seismic design | Power plants | Lateral forces | Steel construction | Steel frames | Earthquakes | Industrial facilities | Seismic tests

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