Fully coupled, hygro-thermo-mechanical sensitivity analysis of a pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel

Davie, C.T., Pearce, C.J. and Bićanić, N. (2014) Fully coupled, hygro-thermo-mechanical sensitivity analysis of a pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel. Engineering Structures, 59, pp. 536-551. (doi: 10.1016/j.engstruct.2013.10.033)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2013.10.033


Following a recent world wide resurgence in the desire to build and operate nuclear power stations as a response to rising energy demands and global plans to reduce carbon emissions, and in the light of recent events such as those at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan, which have raised questions of safety, this work has investigated the long term behaviour of concrete nuclear power plant structures.<p></p> A case example of a typical pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel (PCPV), generically similar to several presently in operation in the UK was considered and investigations were made with regard to the extended operation of existing plants beyond their originally planned for operational life spans, and with regard to the construction of new build plants.<p></p> Extensive analyses have been carried out using a fully coupled hygro-thermo-mechanical (HTM) model for concrete. Analyses were initially conducted to determine the current state of a typical PCPV after 33+ years of operation. Parametric and sensitivity studies were then carried out to determine the influence of certain, less well characterised concrete material properties (porosity, moisture content, permeability and thermal conductivity). Further studies investigated the effects of changes to operational conditions including planned and unplanned thermal events.<p></p> As well as demonstrating the capabilities and usefulness of the HTM model in the analysis of such problems, it has been shown that an understanding of the long-term behaviour of these safety–critical structures in response to variations in material properties and loading conditions is extremely important and that further detailed analysis should be conducted in order to provide a rational assessment for life extension.<p></p> It was shown that changes to the operating procedures led to only minor changes in the behaviour of the structure over its life time, but that unplanned thermal excursions, like those seen at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant could have more significant effects on the concrete structures.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pearce, Professor Chris
Authors: Davie, C.T., Pearce, C.J., and Bićanić, N.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Engineering Structures
ISSN (Online):1873-7323
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Engineering Structures 59: 536-551
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
267091Concrete Reactor and Containment Vessel Behavior following accidental Overload (Re-named Maecenas for second submission) - MAECENASNenad BicanicEuropean Commission (EC)FIKS-CT-2001-00ENG - ENGINEERING INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIR