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The Ultimate Strength of Cylindrical Liquid Storage Tanks Under Earthquakes: Evaluation of Dynamic Buckling Behavior of Tanks Used in PWR Plants

[+] Author Affiliations
Toru Iijima, Kenichi Suzuki

Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), Tokyo, Japan

Hideyuki Morita, Koichi Tai

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Hyogo, Japan

Paper No. PVP2009-77065, pp. 309-317; 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


The new seismic design guideline for nuclear power plants, which was established in September 2006 in Japan, requires the consideration of residual risk for earthquakes beyond the design base. Seismic Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) is the current available method to evaluate the residual risk of the nuclear power plant. Since 2002, Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES) has been carrying out seismic capacity tests for several types of equipment whose malfunction would significantly affect core damage frequency. The primary purpose of those tests is to obtain seismic capacity data and use them to increase the reliability of the seismic PSA. In this study, some elastic-plastic analyses considering the dynamic buckling behavior were performed to evaluate previous seismic capacity test results. The study confirmed that response displacement, residual deformation of the elephant-foot bulge (EFB) and local strain of tank after the EFB occurred could be evaluated analytically. Besides, a 3D FEM elastic-plastic buckling analysis using kinematic hardening law could simulate the behavior in the early stage of the dynamic buckling. In addition to those analyses, dynamic response reduction factor (Ds) of the actual material tanks, and influence of different materials on the energy absorption and seismic capacity were evaluated by using previous seismic capacity tests results.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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