Applications of Probability for Structural Analysis in the Nuclear Industry

by John W. Reed, Jack R. Benjamin & Associates, Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Design, Analysis and Testing


Probabilistic techniques are being used as part of structural analysis in the nuclear industry to investigate various safety-related issues. Historically nuclear power plants have been designed using deterministic procedures according to fairly rigid rules. Because of this approach, conservatism is embedded in the various analysis steps which has led to large overall conservatism in the plant structural capacity. Probabilistic procedures provide an analytical tool for measuring the adequacy of structural design (i.e., quantify conservatism) and give a means for determining whether perceptions concerning new loads significantly impact overall plant safety. This paper gives examples of current uses of probabilistic analysis and points out the benefits that can be gained by their use. Specifically, seismic probabilistic risk analysis (SPRA) and seismic margin analysis (SMA) are discussed.

Subject Headings: Structural safety | Probability | Structural analysis | Industrial facilities | Risk management | Failure analysis | Power plants | Earthquake resistant structures

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