Foundation Considerations for a Nuclear Power Plant

by George A. Faillace, (M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Dames & Moore, Park Ridge, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 165-181

Document Type: Journal Paper


The evaluation of a site for a nuclear power plant involves consideration of numerous factors relating to the physical and environmental aspects, as well as compliance with many regulations and regulatory bodies. This paper presents a case study covering one of these factors, i.e., foundations. A coordinated field exploration program followed by a comprehensive laboratory program and detailed foundation engineering analyses indicated that some of the site's granular soils were marginal with respect to the foundation support of the proposed power plant structures. A review of alternate foundation support schemes revealed that excavation and recompaction of the soils would provide suitable foundation support. The supprting sands were enclosed in an impermeable clay envelope to preclude the possibility of strength loss during liquefaction of adjacent sands during earthquake loading. A comprehensive quality assurance program was establiched during fill placement to ensure compliance with the specified placement and compaction criteria.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Soil liquefaction | Soil strength | Soil loss | Foundations | Nuclear power | Case studies | Soil analysis

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