For more than the last fifteen years, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has been using a probabilistic performance goal-based seismic design method for structures, systems, and components (SSCs) in its nuclear and hazardous facilities. Using a graded approach, the method permits the selection of probabilistic performance goals or acceptable failure rates for SSCs based on the severity level of SSC failure consequences. The method uses a site-specific probabilistic seismic hazard curve as the basic seismic input motion definition, but utilizes the existing national industry consensus design codes for specifying load combination and design acceptance criteria in such a way that the target probabilistic performance goals are met. Recently, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have undertaken the development of a number of national consensus standards that will utilize the performance goal-based seismic design experience base in the DOE complex. These standards are presently in various stages of development, some nearing completion. Once completed, these standards are likely to be adopted by various agencies and organizations in the United States. In addition to the graded approach of DOE’s method, these standards incorporate design provisions that permit seismic design of SSCs to several levels of functional performance. This flexibility of choosing a functional performance level in the design process results in an optimum, but risk-consistent design. The paper will provide an outline of two of these standards-in-progress and will present the author’s understanding of their basic philosophies and technical bases. Even though the author is an active member of the development committees for these two standards, the technical opinions expressed in this paper are author’s own, and does not reflect the views of any of the committees or the views of the organizations with which any member of the committees are affiliated.

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