Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1–36 | Cite as

Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for a new-build nuclear power plant site in the UK

  • Iain J. Tromans
  • Guillermo Aldama-BustosEmail author
  • John Douglas
  • Angeliki Lessi-Cheimariou
  • Simon Hunt
  • Manuela Daví
  • Roger M. W. Musson
  • Graham Garrard
  • Fleur O. Strasser
  • Colin Robertson
Case Study Reports


A probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) has been conducted as part of the Safety Case justification for a new-build nuclear power plant in the UK. The study followed a cost-efficient methodology developed by CH2M and associates for safety-significant infrastructure where high-level regulatory assurance is required. Historical seismicity was re-evaluated from original sources. The seismicity model considered fourteen seismic sources which, when combined, formed six alternative seismic source models. Separate models for the median ground-motion and aleatory variability were considered. The median ground-motion model comprised a suite of ground-motion equations adjusted to the site-specific conditions using VS-kappa factors. A partially non-ergodic sigma model was adopted with separate components for the inter-event variability, and single-station intra-event variability, adjusted by a partially ergodic site-to-site variability term. Site response analysis was performed using equivalent-linear random vibration theory with explicit incorporation of the variability in the ground properties using Monte Carlo simulations. The final PSHA results were obtained by convolution of the hazard at the reference rock horizon with the site amplification factors. The overall epistemic uncertainty captured by the logic tree was assessed and compared against results from earlier PSHA studies for the same site.


PSHA Nuclear power plants Seismic hazard Hinkley point UK 



The authors of this paper would like to thank the participation of all members of the Technical Delivery Team who take full intellectual ownership of the models, and logic trees, developed as part of the Hinkley PSHA. The authors would like to thank as well the various Subject Experts that were interviewed as part of the project: Dr Tim Pharaoh, Nigel Smith, Dr Andy Chadwick, Dr Alastair Ruffell, Prof. Andreas Rietbrock, Dr Peter Stafford, Prof. Fabrice Cotton, Prof. Ellen Rathje, Prof. Pierre-Yves Bard, Dr-Ing Philippe Renault, Dr Rod Graham and Prof. Dave Sanderson. The TDT is certainly in debt to the Peer-Review team, Dr Hilmar Bungum and Dr Martin Koller, for their constructive, challenging and insightful review of all deliverables of the project. Our thanks go as well to the dedicated Project Management team, Guy Green and Liz Rivers, for their continued efforts to keep the TDT within budget and on schedule, to the GEM Foundation for their collaboration on the cross-checking calculations, and to Prof. Mario Ordaz for providing CRISIS2015 and responding to our queries on the use of the software. The authors would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.

Authors contribution

Contributions from William Aspinall, who kindly provided the data from the Hinkley Point microseismic array installed and operated by the Seismic Hazard Working Party in the 1980s and early 1990s, and from the British Geological Survey, who provided ground-motion records for the UK, are acknowledged. Finally, we express our gratitude to NNB GenCo, the sponsor of the project, for agreeing to the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iain J. Tromans
    • 1
  • Guillermo Aldama-Bustos
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Douglas
    • 2
  • Angeliki Lessi-Cheimariou
    • 1
  • Simon Hunt
    • 3
  • Manuela Daví
    • 1
  • Roger M. W. Musson
    • 4
  • Graham Garrard
    • 3
  • Fleur O. Strasser
    • 5
  • Colin Robertson
    • 6
  1. 1.JacobsLondonUK
  2. 2.University of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  3. 3.JacobsSwindonUK
  4. 4.School of GeosciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  5. 5.Independent Consultant/JacobsLondonUK
  6. 6.NNB GenCoBristolUK

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