improving seismic risk assessment tools and methodologies for nuclear safety

Launched in September 2020, METIS is a 48 month long Horizon 2020 project funded under the Euratom research and training programme that brings together 16 partners from 9 different countries. Coordinated by Dr. Irmela Zentner, expert research engineer at EDF, METIS focuses on the three facets of seismic risk assessment of nuclear reactors—hazard, fragility and consequence—to improve the Probabilistic Safety Assessment methodology and develop tools for the more accurate evaluation of nuclear power plant resilience under different seismic conditions.

The project will develop guidelines for seismic safety assessment in line with international consensus and directly translate results into engineering practice.

Based on the most recent scientific advances in earthquake engineering and data science, the project will develop open source tools to meet industrial needs.

METIS will promote good practices for conducting seismic safety assessments and help optimise the use of existing and future reactors at the EU level.

Project organisation

Detailed descriptions of each Work Package (WP) in the METIS project can be found below.

WP1 monitors the achievement of the project’s objectives in terms of scientific quality, timely delivery, and contribution to the expected impact of the project. The WP aims for efficient progress monitoring, timely and detailed reporting to the EC, constitution and organisation of the WP management teams and proper scientific quality of the deliverables.

The aim of WP2 is to organise, coordinate and deliver the communication, training and education activities as well as the dissemination and long-term capitalisation of the project outcomes. This includes keeping the METIS website updated and sharing any news on our social media channels, including LinkedIn and Research Gate. WP2 will help to coordinate events internationally including webinars, conferences, training sessions, and educational workshops. Additionally, WP2 will coordinate engagement with the End Users Group.

The aim of WP3 is to coordinate the whole safety assessment analysis chain and to make sure that outputs of WP4 to WP7 are overall consistent and in line with industrial needs to implement of the full and final Seismic Probabilistic Safety Assessment (SPSA). Also, together with the project partners, WP3 will select the METIS case study and edit recommendations for improved SPSA implementation.

The goal of WP4 is to develop new approaches and tools for the calculation of seismic hazard on reference bedrock. The activities comprise seven work packages covering different components of the seismic hazard analysis process: the characterisation of earthquake occurrence, the calculation of ground-motion, the definition of epistemic uncertainty, the calculation of seismic hazard (with probabilistic and physics-based approaches), the checking of hazard results and the application of these methodologies to the METIS case study. The methods and the results produced within WP4 will support the activities scheduled in WP5.

WP5 will develop a methodology for site-specific rock-hazard-consistent ground motion record selection suitable for both mainshock-only and clustered seismicity and provide guidance for driving these records through local soils to obtain surface motions. Both real ground motions and synthetic ground motions will be considered. This methodology will be supported by the hazard calculations carried out in WP4 and will be applied to generate the input ground motions passed to WP6 for assessing the fragility curves/surfaces for the structures and equipment of WP3.

WP 6 will define and classify SSCs for fragility analysis and create fragility curves for the project. Practical guidelines, simplified procedures and parameters to be used for DEE/BEPU and SMA analyses and fragility evaluations will be developed and improved. Also, the fidelity of intensity measures (scalar and vectoral) will be assessed and multi-dimensional vector-based fragility evaluation methods will be developed. The influence of aftershocks and clustered seismicity on seismic fragility will be assessed and Bayesian updating of models and fragilities using experience feedback will be implemented.

The goal of WP7 is to develop an open-source PSA tool based on SCRAM and to address technical issues of seismic PSA. The activities comprise seven work packages covering different stages of the METIS tool development, validation and verification. It is envisaged that the METIS tool would be capable to handle basic events with a high probability, to handle dependencies amongst basic events; would have ability to perform at an acceptable computational cost uncertainty propagation and sensitivity analyses; would include consideration of vector-based ground motion intensity measures.  Also identification of future needs with regards to METIS tool and model improvements, and future seismic PSA research will be performed.

more information

Lists of the external Advisory Board members, End User Groups and the management team members can be found below.

  • Gernot Thuma, ETSON (European Technical Safety Organizations Network), Germany
  • Paolo Contri, IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), Netherlands
  • Tadeusz Szczesiak, ENSI (Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate), Switzerland
  • Pekka, Valikangas, STUK (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority), Finland
  • Robert Budnitz, senior seismic risk expert , retired from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
  • Nilesh Chokshi, senior seismic risk expert, former NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission), USA
  • John Richards, EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute), USA
  • GEN ENERGIJA, Slovenia
  • Nuclear Power Plant Krško, Slovenia
  • IPP Centre, Ukraine
  • Principia, Spain
  • Swissnuclear, Switzerland
  • ORANO, France
  • TÜV, Germany
  • Framatome Germany
  • ENGIE, Belgium
  • Bel V, Belgium
  • Mott MacDonald, Bulgaria
  • WP1 Gilles Quénéhervé, LGI Project Manager & Irmela Zentner, EDF Project Coordinator
  • WP2 Ionel Nistor, EDF R&D UK Centre
  • WP3 Gloria Senfaute, EDF
  • WP4 Marco Pagani, GEM
  • WP5 Paolo Bazzurro, IUSS
  • WP6 Konstantin Goldschmidt, TUK
  • WP7 Oleksandr Sevbo, Energorisk