Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of a Scale Model Nuclear Containment Vessel

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Derbalian, G. Fowler, J. Thomas

Failure Analysis Associates, Palo Alto, Calif. 94303

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 108(3), 320-329 (Aug 01, 1986) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3264792 History: Received January 01, 1984; Revised September 05, 1985; Online November 05, 2009


Current design procedures for nuclear containment vessels are based on elastic analyses. Though such techniques are adequate under normal operating conditions, if the potential risks associated with extreme environments or accident conditions are to be assessed, knowledge of the ultimate capacity of the containment structure is essential. A key technical question is whether penetrations, such as personnel hatches, weaken the containment structure. In this paper, the maximum pressure sustained by a scale model, steel, nuclear containment vessel with a penetration is determined using a three-dimensional finite element analysis. To assess containment strength, a clean shell is analyzed in closed form for its ultimate strength, and the solution is then compared with finite element results for a structure that has a penetration. The comparison shows that the personnel hatch penetration does not reduce the ultimate strength of the containment structure. In this paper, it is assumed that the materials have no flaws and welded joints are perfectly bonded. Cracks in the structure, which would degrade its strength, are not considered.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.





Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In