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Applications of New Sensing Technologies for Reinforced Concrete Related to Nuclear Facilities: Considerations and Potentials

D. B. SCOTT, A. GOODMAN, J. D. SMITH, S.-E. CHEN

Abstract


Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) has been used to investigate construction and aging effects of concrete containment buildings for the nuclear industry. Specific mechanisms causing reduced serviceability may include chemical attacks, physical attacks, and degradation factors such as leaching, alkali-aggregate reactions, freezethaw, fatigue/vibration, corrosion, elevated temperature, and so forth. These degradation mechanisms are consistent with reinforced concrete structures that are non-nuclear related. However, nuclear structures, whether safety related or non-safety related, often have unique structural characteristics (such as steel-lined concrete) which increase the proclivity towards degradation and inhibit inspection. Often, traditional NDE techniques do not offer adequate investigation through the steel liner, because they require access to large surface areas of the concrete to offer meaningful results. Modern embedded sensing technologies may provide opportunities for the indepth evaluation of nuclear, reinforced concrete structures. This paper offers a review of emerging embedded sensor techniques, the benefit of numerical modeling for sensor placement, and critically evaluates sensor applicability to the nuclear industry.

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