Characterization of Radiation Fields for Assessing Concrete Degradation in Biological Shields of NPPs


Life extensions of nuclear power plants (NPPs) to 60 years of operation and the possibility of subsequent license renewal to 80 years have renewed interest in long-term material degradation in NPPs. Large irreplaceable sections of most nuclear generating stations are constructed from concrete, including safety-related structures such as biological shields and containment buildings; therefore, concrete degradation is being considered with particular focus on radiation-induced effects. Based on the projected neutron fluence values (E \textgreater 0.1 MeV) in the concrete biological shields of the US pressurized water reactor fleet and the currently available data on radiation effects on concrete, some decrease in mechanical properties of concrete cannot be ruled out during extended operation beyond 60 years. An expansion of the irradiated concrete database is desirable to ensure reliable risk assessment for extended operation of nuclear power plants.

In: EPJ Web of Conferences, pp. 2002