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The Ultimate Strength of Cylindrical Liquid Storage Tanks Under Earthquakes: Seismic Capacity Test of Tanks Used in BWR Plants

[+] Author Affiliations
Toru Iijima, Kenichi Suzuki

Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, Tokyo, Japan

Tomokazu Higuchi

Toshiba Corporation, Yokohama, Japan

Yuji Sato

IHI Corporation, Yokohama, Japan

Paper No. PVP2009-77064, pp. 299-307; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 8: Seismic Engineering
  • Prague, Czech Republic, July 26–30, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4371-0 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3854-9
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Since 2002, Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES) has been carrying out seismic capacity tests. The condensate storage tank (CST) which is used in a BWR plant is one of the most important equipment from the viewpoint of seismic Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA). Many CST have the shape characteristics of a large diameter and relatively low height. And typical damage mode is expected to be elephant-foot bulge (EFB) or shear buckling. In this study, JNES performed shaking table tests using scaled models of the tank to clarify failure mode and ultimate strength, or acceleration level which caused failure of the tank. The excitation level was increased until the tank reached the failure mode, or ultimate state. In the excitation tests, EFB and shear buckling were observed, and the tank resulted in the ultimate state in which internal water leaked from cracks caused by shear buckling on the sidewall. The seismic capacity and dynamic response reduction effect were evaluated from test results, and the method to estimate seismic capacity of the thin walled cylindrical tank like CST using FEM analysis and the dynamic response reduction factor was proposed.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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