Containment Capacity and Failure Modes Beyond Design Basis Conditions

by H. T. Tang, Electric Power Research Inst, Palo Alto, United States,
Q. A. Hossain, Electric Power Research Inst, Palo Alto, United States,
M. K. Ravindra, Electric Power Research Inst, Palo Alto, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Energy in the 90's


Analytical and experimental studies have shown that containments can at least sustain two to three times design pressures. Under the severe accident overpressure loading, experimental studies have further demonstrated that the most probable failure mode of concrete containments is leak before catastropic break. For steel containments, scaled model testing showed instantaneous catastrophic failure. However, the database should not be used to interpret full-scale steel containment behavior but rather for method validation due to the simplistic nature of scaled models. Experimental data on seismic loading plus overpressure loading is very limited. Therefore, most of the findings are based primarily on analytical studies. Because of the complexity of the containment geometry (3-D features, local stiffness discontinuities, etc.) and its associated nonlinear behavior (geometric nonlinearity and material nonlinearity), containment capacity and failure modes prediction requires qualified and validated analytical tools, and sound engineering judgment.

Subject Headings: Material failures | Material properties | Failure modes | Failure analysis | Load tests | Steel | Scale models | Validation

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