This article presents a review of nuclear power plant operators who must design many of their systems and structures to withstand potential natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or tornadoes. Tornadoes are a part of the design considerations at the Arkansas Nuclear One facility in Russellville, Ark., a state that averages 19 twisters a year. Arkansas Nuclear One is one of four nuclear energy sites run by Entergy Operations Inc., based in Jackson, MI. Entergy engineers saw an opportunity to avoid bringing out the air cannon again by replicating the 13-year-old laboratory test on a computer. The engineers at Entergy used Algor’s Accupak/VE Mechanical Event Simulation software to recreate events involving motion and its consequences, including inertial effects, impact, permanent deformation, and residual stresses. Bill Hovis, P.E., a senior design engineer with Entergy’s mechanical, civil, and structural engineering department, performed the computer analyses.

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