United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Seismic Analysis of a Reinforced Concrete Containment Vessel Model (NUREG/CR-6707)

On this page:

Download complete document

Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2000
Date Published: March 2001

Prepared by:
J. L. Cherry/Sandia National Laboratories
R. J. James, L. Zhang, Y. R. Rashid/ANATECH Corporation

Sandia National Laboratories, Principal Contractor
P.O. Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-0744

ANATECH Corporation, Subcontractor
5435 Oberlin Drive
San Diego, CA 92121

A. J. Murphy, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code W6251

Availability Notice


In a collaborative program between the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) of Japan, the seismic behavior of a scaled model Reinforced Concrete Containment Vessel (RCCV) has been investigated. Experimental and analytical work was performed at NUPEC under the sponsorship of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry; independent analytical work, sponsored by the NRC, was performed in the United States.

A 1:8 scale RCCV model was constructed by NUPEC and subjected to seismic simulation tests using the high performance shaking table at the Tadotsu Engineering Laboratory. A series of tests representing design-level seismic ground motions was initially conducted. These were followed by a series of tests in which progressively larger base motions were applied until structural failure was induced.

As part of the collaborative program, Sandia National Laboratories and ANATECH Corp. conducted research in the seismic behavior of the scaled model RCCV structure. Three-dimensional finite element dynamic analyses were performed, first as pretest blind-predictions to evaluate the general capabilities of concrete-structures analytical methods, and second as posttest validation of the methods and interpretation of the test results. Because of the nonlinear behavior of the RCCV structures, even for design-level input motions, the analysis sequence must correspond to the test series. However, the large number of tests performed made such an endeavor very expensive to carry out, and it was necessary to be selective in the number and type of analyses to be performed. Moreover, the pretest analyses had, by necessity, to rely on proposed input motions, which differed significantly from their target form because of the interaction between the shake table and the structure that occurred during the actual tests. Consequently, the pretest analyses predict only general trends of the damage and failure regimes of the structure.

The RCCV analysis benefited considerably from the lessons learned in the course of the PCCV analysis (James et al., 1999a); however, the RCCV structural characteristics and test conditions introduced new behavior regimes that required additional concrete material-model improvements. These include the dependence of shear stiffness, compressive stiffness, and viscous damping on the number of crack-open-close cycles. These modeling improvements had their greatest effect on the failure-level predictions and showed the analysis results to be in reasonably good agreement with test data.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2013