As the important lessons learned from the Fukushima-nuclear power plant accident, mitigation of failure consequences and prevention of catastrophic failure became essential against severe accident and excessive earthquake conditions. To improve mitigation measures and accident management, clarification of failure behaviors with locations is premise under design extension conditions such as severe accidents and earthquakes. Design extension conditions induce some different failure modes from design conditions. Furthermore, best estimation for these failure modes are required for preparing countermeasures and management. Therefore, this study focused on identification of failure modes under design extension conditions. To observe ultimate failure behaviors of structures under extreme loadings, new experimental techniques were adopted with simulation materials such as lead and lead-antimony alloy, which has very small yield stress.
Postulated failure modes of main components under design extension conditions were investigated according three categories of loading modes.
The first loading mode is high temperature and internal pressure. Under this mode, ductile fracture and local failure were investigated. At the structural discontinuities, local failure may become dominant.
The second is high temperature and external pressure loading mode. Buckling and fracture were investigated. Buckling occurs however hardly break without additional loads or constraints.
The last loading is excessive earthquake. Ratchet deformation, collapse, and fatigue were investigated. Among them, low-cycle fatigue is dominant.