Sargent & Lundy Proposes Updates to Nuclear Safety Code Requirements

The firm presented challenges to implementing steel structure code requirements at the SMiRT 26 conference

December 15, 2022 – Sargent & Lundy presented at the Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology conference (SMiRT 26), that took place in July in Potsdam, Germany. SMiRT 26 is a biennial conference focused on structural engineering, advanced modeling/analysis, and construction technology in the nuclear power industry. Key topics at this year's conference included seismic response, impact assessment, fluid/soil-structure interaction, licensure, construction technologies and planning, and state-of-the-art design.

Lisa Cleveland - Sargent & LundyLisa Cleveland, a structural engineering manager for Sargent & Lundy, presented “Design Requirements for Steel-Composite Wall Rib and Stiffener Connections.” The presentation drew upon information from a paper co-authored by Sargent & Lundy and NuScale Power. The AISC N690-18 code addresses the design, fabrication, and erection of safety-related steel structures for nuclear facilities. NuScale Power delivered an additional presentation, based on a paper co-authored with Sargent & Lundy, highlighting the need for implementing a new approach to standard detailing around openings that will reduce the field construction time for nuclear power plants.

The requirements for steel-composite (SC) wall detailing defined by AISC N690-18 are challenging to implement due to robust welding requirements and varied wall opening configurations. Some of the implementation challenges Cleveland and NuScale discussed include:

  • The use of stiffeners (ribs) to faceplates and required weld sizes.
  • Alternate detailing methods to obtain module stiffness.
  • Analytical and construction implications based on implementation of prescriptive code requirements.

Nuclear power has been one of Sargent & Lundy’s core competencies since 1954, with proven capabilities in engineering, design, analysis, compliance, and project management. The firm delivers comprehensive project services – from consulting, design, and implementation to construction management, commissioning, and operations/maintenance – with an emphasis on quality and safety. By ensuring structural safety of nuclear facilities, including proposing an update to AISC N690-18 code requirements for rib stiffeners and openings in SC walls, Sargent & Lundy supports the future of the growing, global nuclear industry.

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