Effects of temperature on concrete cask in a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuels

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In the dry storage of spent nuclear fuels, concrete cask serves both as a shielding and a structural containment. The concrete in the storage facility is expected to endure the decay heat of the spent nuclear fuel during its service life. Thus, effects of the sustaining high temperature on concrete material need be evaluated for safety of the dry storage facility. In this paper, we report an experimental program aimed at investigating possible high temperature effects on properties of concrete, with emphasis on the mechanical stability, porosity, and crack-resisting ability of concrete mixes prepared using various amounts of Portland cement, fly ash, and blast furnace slag. The experimental results obtained from concrete specimens exposed to a temperature of 94°C for 90 days indicate that: (1) compressive strength of the concrete remains practically unchanged; (2) the ultrasonic pulse velocity, and dynamic modulus of elasticity of the concrete decrease in early stage of the high-temperature exposure, and gradually become stable with continuing exposure; (3) shrinkage of concrete mixes exhibits an increase in early stage of the exposure and does not decrease further with time; (4) concrete mixes containing pozzolanic materials, including fly ash and blast furnace slag, show better temperature-resisting characteristics than those using only Portland cement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalHe Jishu/Nuclear Techniques
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Concrete degradation
  • Dry storage of spent nuclear fuel
  • High temperature
  • Non-destructive testing


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