skip to main content

Title: Radiation effects in concrete for nuclear power plants Part I: Quantification of radiation exposure and radiation effects

A large fraction of light water reactor (LWR) construction utilizes concrete, including safety-related structures such as the biological shielding and containment building. Concrete is an inherently complex material, with the properties of concrete structures changing over their lifetime due to the intrinsic nature of concrete and influences from local environment. As concrete structures within LWRs age, the total neutron fluence exposure of the components, in particular the biological shield, can increase to levels where deleterious effects are introduced as a result of neutron irradiation. This work summarizes the current state of the art on irradiated concrete, including a review of the current literature and estimates the total neutron fluence expected in biological shields in typical LWR configurations. It was found a first-order mechanism for loss of mechanical properties of irradiated concrete is due to radiation-induced swelling of aggregates, which leads to volumetric expansion of the concrete. This phenomena is estimated to occur near the end of life of biological shield components in LWRs based on calculations of estimated peak neutron fluence in the shield after 80 years of operation.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Engineering and Design; Journal Volume: 282
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Concrete; neutron; amoprhization; swelling