Seismic risk analysis for the Westinghouse Electric facility, Cheswick, Pennsylvania. [Plutonium fuel development facility]
Description: This report presents the results of a detailed seismic risk analysis of the Westinghouse Electric plutonium fuel development facility at Cheswick, Pennsylvania. This report focuses on earthquakes. The historical seismic record was established after a review of available literature, consultation with operators of local seismic arrays and examination of appropriate seismic data bases. Because of the aseismicity of the region around the site, an analysis different from the conventional closest approach in a tectonic province was adapted. Earthquakes as far from the site as 1,000 km were included, as were the possibility of earthquakes at the site. In addition, various uncertainties in the input were explicitly considered in the analysis. For example, allowance was made for both the uncertainty in predicting maximum possible earthquakes in the region and the effect of the dispersion of data about the best fit attenuation relation. The attenuation relationship is derived from two of the most recent, advanced studies relating earthquake intensity reports and acceleration. Results of the risk analysis, which include a Bayesian estimate of the uncertainties, are presented as return period accelerations. The best estimate curve indicates that the Westinghouse facility will experience 0.05 g every 220 years and 0.10 g every 1400 years. The accelerations are very insensitive to the details of the source region geometries or the historical earthquake statistics in each region and each of the source regions contributes almost equally to the cumulative risk at the site.
Date: October 21, 1977
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