Conventionally Reinforced Nuclear Containments

by Clarence T. Gordon, Sr. Struct. Engr.; Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, MA,
William L. Klehm, Sr. Struct. Engr.; Stone & Webster Engrg.Corp., Boston, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 199-219

Document Type: Journal Paper


Construction of nuclear containment structures utilizing standard reinforcing steel was satisfactorily performed in 1964 when plant capacities were small and the design restrictions moderate. Since that time the output of plants has increased enormously and the design restrictions have multiplied to keep pace with protective measures against the possibility of accidents. Unexpected requirements have been inserted in the design criteria to guard against any damages from earthquakes or tornadoes, even in areas not normally considered subject to such forces. Special means of splicing reinforcing bars have been developed. That, coupled with chemical make-up, produces stronger as well as more ductile bars with resultant higher allowable yield stresses. Proof of the design has been substantiated by actual pressure tests on a full scale containment before operation. The results proved that the accuracy of the design and calculations was satisfactory. The width of cracks was within the range expected and all closed when the pressure was removed. No damage was incurred by the liner, and continued use of conventional reinforcing bars for containment construction appears to be satisfactory.

Subject Headings: Bars (structure) | Steel construction | Structure reinforcement | Steel structures | Building codes | Damage (structural) | Reinforcing steel | Accidents

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