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Development of Seismic Isolation Systems for Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors in Japan

[+] Author Affiliations
Nobuchika Kawasaki, Tomoyoshi Watakabe, Takashi Wakai, Tomohiko Yamamoto

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Oarai-Machi, Japan

Tsuyoshi Fukasawa, Shigeki Okamura

Mitsubishi FBR Systems, Inc., Shibuya, Japan

Paper No. PVP2016-63437, pp. V008T08A037; 8 pages
  • ASME 2016 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 8: Seismic Engineering
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 17–21, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5046-6
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFRs) have components with thinner walls as compared with light water reactors, although Japan is an earthquake-prone country. Thus, seismic isolation systems have been conventionally employed in SFR system design to reduce seismic forces on the systems in Japan.

Implementation of seismic design in the reactor core and buckling design in the reactor vessel requires 8 Hz (or less) vertical frequency’s isolation system being applied. This paper introduces three isolation concepts to achieve the frequency.

The isolation systems, which enable vertical 8 Hz natural frequency, comprise thicker laminated rubber bearings (TRBs). By combining coned disk springs with TRBs, vertical natural frequency is in a range from roughly 3 Hz to 5 Hz. Combining pneumatic springs to RBs and adding the rocking suppression system, vertical natural frequency becomes under 1 Hz. All isolation systems need horizontal damping like oil dampers.

A vertical 8 Hz isolation system with TRBs and oil dampers is under development in Japan as a principal isolation concept. This system was selected because of its simple configuration and fewer issues to be resolved in the development. Since TRBs and oil dampers are basic isolation elements, they can be applied to other isolation systems.

The response acceleration of 5 Hz vertical isolation is 50% of that of 8 Hz based on the analytical survey. A series of static tests of coned disk springs was carried out to confirm design equations. Based on these knowledge, 5 Hz vertical isolation system with TRBs and the coned disk springs can be designed.

The response acceleration of 1 Hz vertical isolation is 10% of that of 8 Hz. A rocking suppression system was studied in the past, and the further simplification of this system is the largest challenge for this concept.

These three isolation concepts are isolation candidates for SFRs in Japan. To obtain enough seismic margins for each plant site, these isolation systems need to be developed.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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