In this study, the effects of long-term irradiation on the behaviors of reinforced concrete (RC) members were investigated to obtain a better understanding of the behaviors of RC structures under an irradiation environment, which include the biological shield walls and reactor vessel support structures of nuclear power plants (NPPs). The behaviors of three RC members were examined (a beam, beam-column section, and column under cyclic loading) by considering the changes in the constituent material properties due to neutron irradiation. The load capacity generally increases for a tension failure member with an increase in neutron irradiation because neutron irradiation increases the yield stress of reinforcing steel. However, the load capacity of a compression failure member decreases with a decrease in the compressive strength of concrete when the fluence of neutron radiation increases. Additionally, RC member analysis results demonstrate that the energy dissipation capacity, which is a critical factor in seismic design, decreases significantly when the fluence of neutron radiation is greater than 1.0 × 1017 n/cm2. Therefore, the level of neutron irradiation could be critical for RC structures over the long-term operation of NPPs, and thus the effects of neutron irradiation on RC structures should be considered as age-related damage.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge support from the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) through grant #20121620100040 and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea through grant #NRF-2015R1C1A1A02037663 . The information presented in this paper is the sole opinion of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agencies. Additionally, Dr. Park would like to thank Drs. Le Pape and Field for sharing the collected experimental data of the concrete compressive strength.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Mechanical Engineering