Long-term reliability evaluation of nuclear containments with tendon force degradation

Sang Hyo Kim, Moon Seock Choi, Jung Yeun Joung, Kun Soo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The long-term reliability of nuclear containment is important for operating nuclear power plants. In particular, long-term reliability should be clarified when the service life of nuclear containment is being extended. This study focuses not only on determining the reliability of nuclear containment but also presenting the reliability improvement by strengthening the containment itself or by running a strict maintenance programme. The degradation characteristics of tendon force are estimated from the data recorded during in-service inspection of containments. A reliability analysis is conducted for a limit state of through-wall cracking, which is conservative, but most crucial limit state. The results of this analysis indicate that reliability is the lowest at 3/4 height of the containment wall. Therefore, this location is the most vulnerable for the specific limit state considered in this analysis. Furthermore, changes in structural reliability owing to an increase in the number of inspecting tendons are analysed for verifying the effect of the maintenance program's intensity on expected containment reliability. In the last part of this study, an example of obtaining target reliability of nuclear containment by strengthening its structural resistance is presented. A case study is conducted for exemplifying the effect of strengthening work on containment reliability, especially during extended service life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-590
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research project was sponsored by Yonsei University , Centre for Future Infrastructure System , and the Brain Korea 21 programme and performance-based analysis and design procedure of nuclear power plant containment based on reliability assessment, a nuclear R&D project under the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy (Research No. 2010T100101065). The authors would also like to acknowledge cooperation from members of the Structural and Engineering Lab at Yonsei University.

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


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