GEM is set to start a 3- year project called METIS or Methods and Tools Innovation for Seismic Risk Assessment funded by the European Commission. The project is part of the Safety margins determination for design basis-exceeding external hazards program. Electricite De France (EDF), a GEM technical collaborator, is coordinating the project which will be implemented in collaboration with 14 other organizations. The project will start in September 2020 and end in August 2024.
The objective of METIS is to translate research into practice through rigorous and efficient methodologies and tools to assess seismic safety of NPP (nuclear power plants). It also aims to innovate current practice by combining simulation with experimental data.
The research will develop methods to improve the ability to define safety limits for extremely rare events, which go beyond current design analyses (i.e. design extension for earthquakes). The refined seismic PSA (probabilistic safety assessment) is expected to provide meaningful support in defining regulations for safe design of NPP, as well as for assessing plant safety in real-time in case of temporary unavailability of relevant safety equipment or structures.
GEM will contribute to the task on seismic hazard assessment and the one on PSA Tools and Methodology. In the hazard task, GEM will implement into the OQ Engine methods such as vector-valued probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA), cluster-based PSHA as well as new methods to propagate epistemic uncertainties. Research will also be carried out in the context of processing earthquake catalogues to remove aftershocks and foreshocks and on testing PSHA models. GEM’s contribution to the PSA Tools and Methodology will concentrate on testing risk results.
The participation of GEM in this high-level program will not only enhance GEM’s scientific advancement of earthquake hazard analysis using the OpenQuake engine, but will also promote a two-way sharing of knowledge and skills with other project collaborators for the advancement of earthquake hazard assessment to critical infrastructure such as nuclear power plants.
The results of this project will help nuclear operators in their periodic safety reviews and to respond to the high-level EU-wide safety objectives of the amended EURATOM nuclear safety directive (stress tests). The considered accident scenarios will provide input for updating severe accident management guidelines (SAMG).