Earthquake: SMATCH, restitution of the first phase of the benchmark

  • Nuclear safety


In 2019, the Le Teil earthquake led to the shutdown of the Cruas nuclear power plant's operating reactors. At the initiative of IRSN and EDF, and under the aegis of the OECD, an international benchmark called SMATCH was launched in 2022.

The aim of this benchmark is to identify, in the case of the Le Teil seismic scenario, the best practices for predicting surface movement and its propagation in the reactor building - whose rafters are seismically supported - by comparison with measurements obtained during the earthquake. To date, 34 teams from 17 countries on 5 continents (Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa) have signed up, including academics, industrialists, design offices and TSOs.

The first phase of the benchmark is devoted to determining seismic motion. A special session at the SMiRT 27 conference - International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology - to be held in Yokohama, Japan, from March 3 to 8, 2024, will be devoted to presenting the results of this first phase. This will provide an opportunity for wide-ranging technical and scientific exchanges not only between the participants, but also with the entire interested community, in order to draw the first lessons to be learned.

It was also announced at SMiRT 27 that the next international conference will be held in Lyon in August 2027. The next conference will be chaired by Irmela Zentner (EDF). Benjamin Richard, head of the LMAPS laboratory at IRSN, will chair the international scientific committee.