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Reliability Analysis of Cooling Towers: Influence of Rebars Corrosion on Failure

[+] Author Affiliations
Bruno Sudret

EDF R&D, Moret-sur-Loing Cedex, France

Maurice Pendola

PHI-MECA Engineering, Romagnat, France

Paper No. ICONE10-22136, pp. 115-121; 7 pages
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Volume 2
  • Arlington, Virginia, USA, April 14–18, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3596-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3589-8
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Natural-draught cooling towers are used in nuclear power plants as heat exchangers. These structures are submitted to environmental loads such as wind and thermal gradients that are stochastic in nature. A probabilistic framework has been developed by EDF (Electricité de France) for assessing the durability of such structures. In this paper, the corrosion of the rebars due to concrete carbonation and the corresponding weakening of the reinforced concrete sections is considered. Due to the presence of time in the definition of the limit state function associated with the loss of serviceability of the cooling tower, time-variant reliability analysis has to be used. A novel approach is proposed to take into account the random “initiation time”, which corresponds to the time necessary for the carbonation to attain the rebars. Results are given in terms of the probability of failure of the structure over its life time.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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