United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Overpressurization Test of a 1:4-Scale Prestressed Concrete Containment Vessel Model (NUREG/CR-6810, SAND2003-0840P)

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* An index to the Data list, which is larger than 3 MB, is provided in Appendix I. Those desiring the complete Data CD can order the CD version of the report (which contains two discs) by contacting: DISTRIBUTION.Resource@nrc.gov.

Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: March 2003
Date Published: March 2003

Prepared by:
M.F. Hessheimer, E.W. Klamerus, L.D. Lambert, G.S. Rightley
Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0744
Operated by Sandia Corporation
for the U.S. Department of Energy

R.A. Dameron
ANATECH Corporation (Subcontractor)
5435 Oberlin Drive
San Diego, California 92121

S. Shibata, NUPEC Project Manager

J.F. Costello, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Systems Safety Department
Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation
5F Fujita Kanko Toranomon Building
3-17-1, Toranomon, Minato-Ku
Tokyo 105, Japan
Under Fia DE-F104-91-AL73734

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

NRC Job Code Y6131

Availability Notice


The Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) of Japan and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, cosponsored and jointly funded a Cooperative Containment Research Program at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) from July 1991 through December 2002. As part of this program, a 1:4 scale model of a prestressed concrete containment vessel (PCCV) was constructed and pressure tested to failure. The prototype for the model is the containment building of Unit 3 of the Ohi Nuclear Power Station in Japan. The design accident pressure, Pd, of both the prototype and the model is 0.39 MPa (57 psi). The objectives of the PCCV model test were to simulate some aspects of the severe accident loads on containment vessels, observe the model failure mechanisms, and obtain structural response data up to failure for comparison with analytical models.

The PCCV model was designed and constructed by NUPEC and its Japanese contractors, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Obayashi Corp., and Taisei Corp. SNL designed and installed the instrumentation and data acquisitions systems and conducted the overpressurization tests. ANATECH Consulting Engineers conducted the pre- and posttest analyses of the model under contract to SNL.

Nearly 1,500 transducers were installed on the PCCV model to monitor displacements, liner, rebar, concrete and tendon strains and tendon anchor forces. This instrumentation suite was augmented by the Soundprint® acoustic monitoring system, video, and still photography.

Low-pressure testing, including a Structural Integrity Test to 1.125 Pd, and an Integrated Leak Rate Test at 0.9 Pd, was conducted in September, 2000. The Limit State Test (LST) of the model was conducted on September 27–28, 2000, by slowly pressurizing the model using nitrogen gas. A leak, presumably through a tear in the liner, was first detected at a pressure of 2.5 Pd and a leak rate of 1.5% mass/day was estimated. The test was terminated when the model reached a pressure of 3.3 Pd. At this pressure, the leak rate was nearly 1,000% mass/day, exceeding the capacity of the pressurization system. Posttest inspections revealed 26 tears in the 1.6mm (1/16") steel liner as the source of the leaks.

Since only limited damage and inelastic response occurred during the LST, the interior was resealed with an elastomeric membrane. The PCCV was then filled nearly full with water and repressurized on November 14, 2001. This Structural Failure Mode Test reached a maximum pressure of 3.6 Pd when the model ruptured violently by failure of the prestressing tendons and then the reinforcing steel.

The resulting data from all the tests are provided for comparison with pretest and posttest analyses.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, August 12, 2013