Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Safety analysis of multi-component-systems on the basis of multidimensional seismic fragility curves under the consideration of changes due to operation or age
The federal government resolved the exit from the nuclear energy until the year 2022 after the reactor catastrophe in Fukushima and the decommissioning of power plants cause a large loss of competence in the area of nuclear safety analyses. The main reason is the decreasing demand of safety analyses and engineering performance for nuclear plants, which lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of workplaces in the specialist departments of large corporations and in highly specialized engineering offices. In accordance with the changing energy market human resources are oriented towards renewable technologies. The associated loss of competence in nuclear engineering may be viewed with a degree of skepticism, because extensive safety analyses for the prevention of the release of radioactive substances will still be needed. Power plants, which are still in use, required cooling of the nuclear fuel in closed power plants, dismantling of the plants and waste and final disposal of radioactive material are some of the relevant topics.

With the project for the funding of a doctoral thesis, the integration of a young researcher contributes to the technical and scientific hedging of the remaining operation of German power plants and research reactors with regard to the structural reliability of complex multi-component-systems. The focus of the project lies on the collection of data concerning the interactions between buildings, systems and components relevant to the seismic resistance of the overall system considering the influence of time-depending system changes through operational or age related influences. System related multi-dimensional fragility curves allow the better quantification of existing safety margins. The methodical approaches will be developed in a manner that the transfer to other areas of application and problem formulations is possible. A close connection with already existing work areas at the center can be achieved. Another motivation in the project’s context is the integration of students through bachelor and master theses for the planed prototypical application, presenting a further element of the competence expansion.