Structural response of nuclear containment shield buildings with construction openings

Sińad C. Mac Namara, Maria M. Garlock, David P. Billington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Steam generator replacement at nuclear power plants requires large construction openings in nuclear containment structures. This study examines the effects of such openings placed in a 61 cm (2 ft) thick dome of a shield building. The dome is cast in two layers, and the limiting cases of the two layers acting as one and the lower layer carrying the entire load are considered. Without openings, the stresses due to dead load in the structure are very low when compared to the material strength. With openings, the loads are easily redistributed around the opening, and the maximum stresses for the conservative case are between three and four and one-half times larger than in the original structure with no openings. The extent of the affected area around the holes is relatively small. Smooth corners in the openings are necessary to avoid high local stress concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Containment
  • Powerplants
  • Structural design
  • Structural response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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