The Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) of Japan and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have been co-sponsoring and jointly funding a Cooperative Containment Research Program at Sandia National Laboratories. The purpose of the program is to investigate the response of representative models of nuclear containment structures to pressure loading beyond the design basis accident and to compare analytical predictions with measured behavior. This is accomplished by conducting static, pneumatic overpressurization tests of scale models at ambient temperature. The first project in this program was a test of a mixed scale steel containment vessel (SCV). Next, a 1:4-scale model of a prestressed concrete containment vessel (PCCV), representative of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) plant in Japan, was constructed by NUPEC at Sandia National Laboratories from January 1997 through June, 2000. Concurrently, Sandia instrumented the model with over 1500 transducers to measure strain, displacement and forces in the model from prestressing through the pressure testing. The limit state test of the PCCV model was conducted in September, 2000 at Sandia National Laboratories. This paper describes the conduct and some of the results of this test.

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