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Proceedings Paper

Nondestructive evaluation of thick concrete structures
Author(s): Dwight A. Clayton
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Paper Abstract

Concrete has been used in the construction of nuclear power plants (NPPs) due to three primary properties: its low cost, structural strength, and ability to shield radiation. Examples of concrete structures important to the safety of Light Water Reactor (LWR) plants include the containment building, spent fuel pool, and cooling towers. Use in these structures has made concrete’s long-term performance crucial for the safe operation of commercial NPPs. Extending LWR operating period to 60 years and beyond will likely increase susceptibility and severity of known forms of degradation. New mechanisms of materials degradation are also possible. This creates the need to be able to nondestructively evaluate the current subsurface concrete condition of aging concrete material in NPP structures. The size and complexity of NPP containment structures and heterogeneity of Portland cement concrete make characterization of the degradation extent a difficult task. Specially designed and fabricated test specimens can provide realistic flaws that are similar to actual flaws in terms of how they interact with a particular nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technique. Artificial test blocks allow the isolation of certain testing problems as well as the variation of certain parameters. Representative large heavily reinforced concrete specimens would allow for comparative testing to evaluate the state-of-the-art NDE in this area and to identify additional developments necessary to address the challenges potentially found in NPPs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9439, Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems 2015, 943905 (27 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083882
Show Author Affiliations
Dwight A. Clayton, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9439:
Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems 2015
Norbert G. Meyendorf, Editor(s)

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