Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for a nuclear power plant site in southeast Brazil

Abstract

A site-specific probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) has been performed for the only nuclear power plant site in Brazil, located 130 km southwest of Rio de Janeiro at Angra dos Reis. Logic trees were developed for both the seismic source characterisation and ground-motion characterisation models, in both cases seeking to capture the appreciable ranges of epistemic uncertainty with relatively few branches. This logic-tree structure allowed the hazard calculations to be performed efficiently while obtaining results that reflect the inevitable uncertainty in long-term seismic hazard assessment in this tectonically stable region. An innovative feature of the study is an additional seismic source zone added to capture the potential contributions of characteristics earthquake associated with geological faults in the region surrounding the coastal site.

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Acknowledgements

Many individuals contributed to this study in different ways, including Drs Jesus Berrocal and Jorge Daniel Riera, who provided critical feedback during the early stages of the model development. Paola Albini undertook work to retrieve archive information on historical earthquakes in southeast Brazil and provided valuable updates on some key events as well as identifying rich sources of information in European archives that have yet to be fully mined. The interpretation and modelling of geological faults in the study region were greatly enriched by interactions and discussions with Anthony Crone, Michael Machette and Francisco Hilario Bezarra who participated with several of the authors in a field reconnaissance study of the area in May–June, 2016. We also express our very sincere thanks to the team at the GEM (Global Earthquake Model) Foundation in Pavia, Italy, for their kind and generous assistance with the operation of the OpenQuake hazard engine; particular thanks in this regard are due to Marco Pagani and Graeme Weatherill. We are also grateful to Marlon Pirchiner for his invaluable assistance with the execution of the hazard calculations, and in particular the disaggregations, in OpenQuake and to Carlos H. Grohmann for his support in building the fault database. The authors wish to thank Eletrobrás Eletronuclear, the Brazilian state-owned company, which was responsible for the support to this project and to assemble the project team, especially to Eng. Lucio D. B. Ferrari and Eng. Paulo C. Carneiro, who made it possible. The interaction of the project team with other engineers Ricardo C. Albano, Rodolfo L.M. Suanno and Tarcísio de Freitas Cardoso from Eletronuclear has been very informative and useful in ensuring that the output from this study addresses the engineering needs for the Angra dos Reis Nuclear Power Plants. We would also like to express our thanks to the Associate Editor and an anonymous reviewer for the very helpful feedback that enabled us to improve the presentation of this work.

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Correspondence to Andréia Abreu Diniz de Almeida.

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de Almeida, A.A.D., Assumpção, M., Bommer, J.J. et al. Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for a nuclear power plant site in southeast Brazil. J Seismol 23, 1–23 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10950-018-9755-8

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Keywords

  • Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis
  • Diffuse seismicity
  • Seismogenic faults
  • Backbone GMPE
  • Disaggregation