Capturing the earthquake responses of nuclear power plants
—Construction of a large-scale observation system for evaluating seismic safety with higher precision—
In order to evaluate the seismic safety of nuclear power plants with higher precision, techniques are needed to enable evaluation of responses due to earthquakes at various points of a facility. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has previously developed a 3D model for evaluating earthquake responses of the High Temperature engineering Test Reactor (HTTR), one of the JAEA's facilities. Through a joint research with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, a large-scale observation system was recently introduced for this HTTR to measure a more detailed earthquake responses of nuclear power plants.
In this system, multiple seismometers are installed on the floors and walls of the HTTR. In addition to observing natural earthquakes, this enables observation of responses for transmitting an artificial wave. It is the first case in the world that this type of large-scale observation system, for both natural earthquakes and artificial waves, has been developed for a nuclear power plant.
Incorporating the characteristics ascertained with this system into a 3D model for earthquake response evaluation is expected to further improve the precision of techniques for evaluating seismic safety of nuclear power plants. Also, the research using this system is expected to contribute to the human resource development for earthquake response evaluation and nuclear power safety.