United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Primer on Durability of Nuclear Power Plant Reinforced Concrete Structures - A Review of Pertinent Factors (NUREG/CR-6927)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 2006
Date Published: February 2007

Prepared by:
D.J. Naus

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Managed by UT-Battelle, LLC
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6283

H.L. Graves, III, NRC Project Manager

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

NRC Job Code N6002

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to provide a primer on the environmental effects that can affect the durability of nuclear power plant concrete structures.

As concrete ages, changes in its properties will occur as a result of continuing microstructural changes (i.e., slow hydration, crystallization of amorphous constituents, and reactions between cement paste and aggregates), as well as environmental influences. These changes do not have to be detrimental to the point that concrete will not be able to meet its performance requirements. Concrete, however, can suffer undesirable changes with time because of improper specifications, a violation of specifications, or adverse performance of its cement paste matrix or aggregate constituents under either physical or chemical attack. Contained in this report is a discussion on concrete durability and the relationship between durability and performance, a review of the historical perspective related to concrete and longevity, a description of the basic materials that comprise reinforced concrete, and information on the environmental factors that can affect the performance of nuclear power plant concrete structures. Commentary is provided on the importance of an aging management program.

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