Securing adequate seismic safety margins has been important in safety reviews regarding the seismic design of equipment and piping systems in nuclear power plants, and there exists an increasing need for a more exact method for evaluating these margins. To this end, it is reasonable to take into account the reduction of seismic responses resulting from inelastic deformation. The authors studied this approach utilizing an elastic allowable limit in existing standard. The applicability of the proposed evaluation method was investigated by comparison with the conventional evaluation method. The proposed method consists of an inelastic dynamic analysis and an elastic-static analysis. The elastic-static analysis uses a load obtained from the inelastic dynamic analysis. For the investigation, the result obtained from the proposed method was compared with that obtained from the conventional elastic analysis to quantify the reduction in responses leading to seismic safety margins. For the comparison, the authors constructed three models that simulate a cantilever-type beam, four-legged tank, and core shroud and applied them to the analysis herein, and the applicability of our method was discussed for these models. In this paper, we present three topics. First, we present a scheme for developing the design approach of using inelastic analysis. Second, we report a sensitivity study of model parameters, such as yielding stress and second stiffness, done by analyzing the cantilever-type beam for the proposed method. Finally, we report the application of the method to the four-legged tank and core shroud.

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