Berkeley Lab teamed with UC Berkeley’s Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center to organize the second international Pacific Rim Forum on the Earthquake Resilience of Nuclear Facilities. Held at UC Berkeley’s International House on January 23–24, this Forum brought together eighty-five leading experts from around the Pacific Rim to share a broad spectrum of perspectives and research results on nuclear facility earthquake safety issues. Specific foci of the Forum:
- Recent developments and future needs in seismic hazard characterization
- Advancements in risk-informed, performance-based earthquake standards
- Advanced simulations for transformational hazard and risk assessments
- Experimental testing for advanced understanding Recent industrial experiences in probabilistic risk assessments
Participants spanned academic, government and commercial sectors. Senior officials from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum and the U.S. Department of Energy provided their high level international perspectives on nuclear system safety. Presenters included experts from DOE National Laboratories, the University of California, the University of Tokyo, Tsinghua University, North Carolina State University, the University of Nevada, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric, and the Bechtel Corporation.
In addition to formal presentations, the Forum was organized with ample time for moderated topical discussions, so that key identified issues and challenges could be explored in depth through panel discussions with audience participation. Highlights were the latest developments in high performance computing and advanced simulation tools for nuclear facilities in the U.S., Japan and China, recent understanding on the source of uncertainties in earthquake ground motion predictions, and emerging technologies for facility seismic base isolation and structural health monitoring.
Based on the enthusiasm of the participants, the quality of information exchanged, and the value of sharing international perspectives, we anticipate that the Forum will become an annual event in Berkeley. Contributing sponsors to the Forum were the U.S. Department of Energy, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and the American Association for Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology.
Thanks to our guest blog author: David McCallen