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Earthquake Protection Strategies for Power Plant Equipment

[+] Author Affiliations
Peter Nawrotzki

GERB Vibration Control Systems, Lisle, IL

Paper No. POWER2009-81161, pp. 273-279; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 Power Conference
  • ASME 2009 Power Conference
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, July 21–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4350-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3853-6
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Power plant machinery can be dynamically decoupled from the substructure by the effective use of helical steel springs and viscous dampers. Turbine foundations, coal mills, boiler feed pumps and other machine foundations benefit from this type of elastic support systems to mitigate the transmission of operational vibration. The application of these devices may also be used to protect against earthquakes and other catastrophic events, i.e. airplane crash, of particular importance in nuclear facilities. This article illustrates basic principles of elastic support systems and applications on power plant equipment and buildings in medium and high seismic areas. Spring-damper combinations with special stiffness properties are used to reduce seismic acceleration levels of turbine components and other safety or non-safety related structures. For turbine buildings, the integration of the turbine substructure into the machine building can further reduce stress levels in all structural members. The application of this seismic protection strategy for a spent fuel storage tank in a high seismic area is also discussed. Safety in nuclear facilities is of particular importance and recent seismic events and the resulting damage in these facilities again brings up the discussion. One of the latest events is the 2007 Chuetsu earthquake in Japan. The resulting damage in the Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant can be found in several reports. Among other vital components, turbine equipment was damaged and overflow of fuel storage pools was observed (Fukushima, 2007 and Yamashita, 2008).

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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