This series includes technical reports prepared by faculty, students and staff who are associated with the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford University. While the primary focus of Blume Center is earthquake engineering, many of the reports in this series encompass broader topics in structural engineering and materials, computational mechanics, geomechanics, structural health monitoring, and engineering life-cycle risk assessment. Each report includes acknowledgments of the specific sponsors for the report and underlying research. In addition to providing research support, the Blume Center provides administrative support for maintaining and disseminating the technical reports. For more information about the Blume Center and its activities, see https://blume.stanford.edu.
Seismic risk to major industrial facilities has been studied primarily in relation to nuclear power plants. Recently, however, attention has been focused on other large industrial plants due to the increasing awareness of the potential of damage of such plants and the consequences from failures at such plants.
The overall goal of this study is to develop a general methodology for seismic risk evaluation at major industrial facilities. Such a methodology includes (1) methods for estimating the damage to structures and equipment, (2) methods for evaluating the performance of the overall system, and (3) formulations for estimating the economic and other losses. This report focuses on the first of these aspects of the general risk methodology.
Currently existing methods for evaluating the performance of structures at major industrial facilities when subjected to earthquake ground motion were reviewed. The advanced first order reliability approach be used for that purpose. The main advantages of this approach is that reliability computations are mathematically invariant and uncertainties included in the analysis relate to physical parameters which can be quantified more readily. Simplified formulations for the limit state equations are presented which can be standardized for classes of structures with similar design configurations. The methods for failure probability (or reliability) estimates are illustrated through specific examples. For the purpose of presenting application examples, typical structures found at oil refineries are identified. Reliability estimates are obtained specifically for tall isomerization columns of uniform and non-uniform cross sections. Various degrees of complexity are introduced in the structural response formulations to assess the adequacy of the simplified approach.
Currently, methods for system performance are being investigated for potential use in the general seismic risk methodology. The attention is focused on incorporating component dependencies within the system and multiple performance states of components. The systems analysis method will be tested through an application to a simplified hypothetical oil refinery.
Kiremidjian, AS and Ortiz, K and Nielson, R and Safavi, B. (2013). Seismic Risk to Major Industrial Facilities. John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center Technical Report 72. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/nx764pz3149
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