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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research

 

Description of research topics : "Seismic studies"


Aims

* Carry out expert appraisal assignments on behalf of the public authorities relating to the seismic hazard in basic nuclear installations (power reactors, laboratories and plants, near-surface disposal sites, etc.) and deep radioactive waste repositories.

* Conduct research in various fields (geology, geophysics, seismology) concerned with seismic hazard assessment. These research activities also drive regulatory changes.

Main topics

* Expert appraisal
-> Reviewing Fundamental Safety Rule I.2.c defining the seismic motions to be considered in nuclear facility design, and expert analysis of several document packages.
-> Preparing meetings of the "Standing Group on Long-term Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities". Regional geological survey for the underground laboratory project in the east of France.
-> Auditing chemical plants at the request of the French Minister of the Environment to ensure proper consideration of the seismic hazard.

* Observation
-> Identifying active faults: studying morphological anomalies using numerical field models and SPOT satellite photos, field studies, and excavating trenches to find traces of paleoseismic events.
-> Mid-Durance experiment: a network of seismological stations has been set up around the Durance fault to gain insight into the operation of an active fault within the French geological context.
-> Garner Valley experiment: a network of sensors installed at various depths is used to study wave amplification phenomena ("site effect").
-> An initiative is under way to use the Grenoble basin as a center for observing site effects in deep valleys.

* Explanation
-> Particular effort is invested in the modeling field, including such activities as:
3D site-effect modeling - developing methods to simulate seismic motion in valleys,
Modeling soil behavior (non-linear effects).


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