An intuitive exercise conducted by Allin Cornell in the 1960s, which was intended for the determination of the rational seismic design level of a small earth‐fill dam somewhere in Turkey, has become the linchpin of performance‐based engineering and many other state‐of‐the‐art tools for earthquake engineering. It is an active area of research and development that currently supports the activities of a good many professionals in the engineering applied sciences. In these days of post‐Fukushima the nuclear industry is crucially dependent on the so‐called accurate determination of the seismic threat to its assets in countries where there are power‐generating plants. The...

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