Short course on Earthquake Engineering for Nuclear Facilities

Pavia, 12th - 23rd May 2014

Download the flyer of the course here

Course outline

The course will make the attendees familiar with the basis of earthquake engineering that are applicable to any type of building or facility and also to these specific facets of earthquake engineering that are dealing with nuclear and other dangerous facilities.

A common scientific background, including fundamental concepts, which are common to the assessment of conventional structures, such as buildings, or even, to a certain extent, special structures such as bridges will be provided. This will include, for example, seismic input motion characterization, structural modal analysis and linear response computation, nonlinear behaviour, reasonable modelling of soil and of concrete structures or nonlinear behaviour under cyclic load. Reference to recent episodes, such as the Fukushima accident, will be made, highlighting how nuclear operators are required to analyse the effects of "extreme" events.

In addition, specific issues that rise when dealing with nuclear facilities will be covered, namely:

  • The safety of a nuclear facility, response of systems and important role of structural components, such as bearing devices, mechanical components (primary loop and other piping systems, tanks, cranes, etc.) or even electrical and I&C ones;
  • Geotechnical engineering issues, such as soil-structure interaction effects, which greatly affect this sort of large-sized and high mass structures. Consistency between the soil profile and the seismic input motion, as well as proper description of the latter will also be addressed;
  • Accepted probability of failure and corresponding design requirements, more severe than those of the conventional industry facilities. Seismic probabilistic risk assessment techniques, based on fragility curves, used to estimate the annual probability of seismically induced core damage. 



The course will be taught by Pierre Labbé, Alain Pecker, Gian Michele Calvi, Paolo Bazzurro and Rui Pinho

About the instructors

Pierre Labbé has more than 30 years of experience in earthquake engineering for nuclear facilities. He is the most senior expert of EDF in earthquake engineering. He has supervised the seismic facet of the post-Fukushima stress-test of the 58 nuclear units of EDF in France. From 1999 to 2004 he was head of the IAEA Unit in charge of IAEA Safety Standards for site evaluation and design of nuclear facilities. He conducted IAEA site safety reviews in numerous countries and major design safety reviews of nuclear power plants in Armenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Iran. Pierre Labbé got his engineer degree in civil engineering at Ecole Centrale Paris and PhD in mathematical sciences at Rennes University. He was nominated Associated Professor of French Universities at Ecole Centrale Lyon in 1993. He is now professor of structural and soil dynamics in Master degree at Lyon University and Ecole Centrale Paris-ParisTech. He has authored more than 100 papers in international journals and conferences. Since 2008, he is honorary president of the French Association for Earthquake Engineering. He chairs the OECD-NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency) group of experts in earthquake engineering. He is task leader of the IAEA ISSC (International Seismic Safety Centre) working group on Seismic Design, Qualification and Safety Evaluation. 

Alain Pecker is Professor of Civil Engineering at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. He is also Honorary President of the French Association of Earthquake Engineering and member of several French and international technical committees for earthquake geotechnical engineering. He was elected to the National Academy of Technologies in the year of 2000. His professional interest lies in soil behaviour, wave propagation analyses, earthquake foundation design and liquefaction analyses. Author of one book on Soil Dynamics and co-author of two books on earthquake engineering, he has published more than 70 papers in technical journals and conferences and has received several awards for his activities.

Gian Michele Calvi is Professor of Structural Design and Director of the Centre for Research and Graduate Studies in Understanding and Managing Extremes at the University Institute for Advanced Studied (IUSS), Pavia. He received a Master of Science from the University of California, Berkeley, a PhD from the Politecnico di Milano and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cujo, Mendoza, Argentina. He is the founder and president of the Eucentre Foundation and founder and director of the School in Understanding and Managing Extremes (today UME, started as the ROSE School). He is also member of the Board of Directors of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation and one of the Directors of the International Association of Earthquake Engineering. He is author of more than 300 publications and of two major books: Seismic Design and Retrofit of Bridges and Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures. He has been designer, consultant or reviewer for hundreds of structural projects, among which the Rion-Antirion cable stayed bridge (2883 m, in Greece), the Bolu viaduct (119 spans, in Turkey) and the new housing system after L'Aquila earthquake (2009), with 185 buildings seismically isolated with more than 7,000 devices, completed in about six months.

Paolo Bazzurro is Professor at the IUSS Pavia and earned his M.S., Engineer Degree, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Stanford University where he has been part-time Consulting Assistant Professor for 4 years. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in consulting engineering firms in Europe and United States. He is a structural engineer and holds a professional engineer certification in Italy. His expertise is in the application of probability and statistics to civil engineering problems. Most of his projects dealt with earthquake and wind engineering risk assessments to a variety of structures both on-shore and offshore. He led the San Francisco office of AIR Worldwide that focuses on damage and loss estimation for single structures, portfolio of assets, and lifelines. He has authored more than 80 publications in international journals and refereed conferences one of which received the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) award for best 1998 technical paper. He has led EERI team in a post-disaster reconnaissance teams sent to Molise and Abruzzo, Italy, to study the impact of the earthquakes that occurred in 2002 and 2009. Paolo Bazzurro is one of the technical Editors of Earthquake Spectra and he is a member of the Scientific Board of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM).

Rui Pinho is Assistant Professor of Structural Design in the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at the University of Pavia, Italy. In the recent past, Dr Pinho served as Secretary General of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation, as Head of the Seismic Risk Section of the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE), Deputy Coordinator of the LESSLOSS 46-partner European research network, Deputy Coordinator of the international Erasmus Mundus Masters course in Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (MEEES). Dr Pinho has authored more than 150 publications and supervised more than 100 undergraduate and postgraduate research theses and dissertations. Dr Pinho is also peer reviewer and/or editorial board member of 20 international scientific journals, has been guest speaker in a number of conferences, workshops and short courses, and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2008 EERI Shah's Prize for Innovation. Dr Pinho has also been involved in a number of consultancy projects involving seismic assessment and retrofitting of existing structures. His main research interests are (i) evaluation of earthquake risk at urban or regional scale, (ii) seismic vulnerability assessment and mitigation for reinforced concrete structures, (iii) development of advanced analytical tools for analysis of structures subjected to seismic action, (iv) validation of innovative earthquake-resistant design/assessment approaches.

Further information

The detailed programme of the course as well as registraton information are summarised in the course announcement flyer that can be downloaded here.