Application of Single-Station Sigma and Site-Response Characterization in a Probabilistic Seismic-Hazard Analysis for a New Nuclear Site
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Aleatory variability in ground-motion prediction, represented by the standard deviation (sigma) of a ground-motion prediction equation, exerts a very strong influence on the results of probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis (PSHA). This is especially so at the low annual exceedance frequencies considered for nuclear facilities; in these cases, even small reductions in sigma can have a marked effect on the hazard estimates. Proper separation and quantification of aleatory variability and epistemic uncertainty can lead to defensible reductions in sigma. One such approach is the single-station sigma concept, which removes that part of sigma corresponding to repeatable site-specific effects. However, the site-to-site component must then be constrained by site-specific measurements or else modeled as epistemic uncertainty and incorporated into the modeling of site effects. The practical application of the single-station sigma concept, including the characterization of the dynamic properties of the site and the incorporation of site-response effects into the hazard calculations, is illustrated for a PSHA conducted at a rock site under consideration for the potential construction of a nuclear power plant.