Integrity assessment of grouted posttensioning cables and reinforced concrete of a nuclear containment building
1 Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (Retired), Chalk River, Ontario, Canada
2 AMEC Earth & Environmental Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
The Containment Buildings of CANDU Nuclear Generating Stations were designed to house nuclear reactors and process equipment and also to provide confinement of releases from a potential nuclear accident such as a Loss Of Coolant Accident (LOCA). To meet this design requirement, a post-tensioning system was designed to induce compressive stresses in the structure to counteract the internal design pressure. The CANDU reactor building at Gentilly-1 (G-1), Quebec, Canada (250 MWe) was built in the early 1970s and is currently in a decommissioned state. The structure at present is under surveillance and monitoring. In the year 2000, a field investigation was conducted as part of a condition assessment and corrosion was detected in some of the grouted post-tension cable strands. However, no further work was done at that time to determine the cause, nature, impact and extent of the corrosion. An investigation of the Gentilly-1 containment building is currently underway to assess the condition of grouted post-tensioning cables and reinforced concrete. At two selected locations, concrete and steel reinforcements were removed from the containment building wall to expose horizontal cables. Individual cable strands and reinforcement bars were instrumented and measurements were taken in-situ before removing them for forensic examination and destructive testing to determine the impact of ageing and corrosion. Concrete samples were also removed and tested in a laboratory. The purpose of the field investigation and laboratory testing, using this structure as a test bed, was also to collect material ageing data and to develop potential Nondestructive Examination (NDE) methods to monitor Containment Building Integrity. The paper describes the field work conducted and the test results obtained for concrete, reinforcement and post-tensioning cables.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011