Structuralsteel-concrete elements intended for use in building nuclear power stationshave well-established cost and schedule benefits, but limited national guidanceis available pertaining to their use, it is claimed.

This, saysthe Steel Construction Institute, leads to delays and uncertainty in designamong designers and regulators alike, when a new nuclear facility is beingplanned.

“Europehas a significant programme of nuclear new-build, but no code for the design ofcomposite steel-concrete sandwich structures,” the SCI asserts.

It is nowundertaking a project to overcome this concern, by using a reference buildingto highlight any existing problem areas and create consistent data for use inundertaking future nuclear construction.

This shouldlead to a better understanding of how structural steel-concrete surfaces behaveunder, for example, elevated temperatures and axial loads.

“Designrules will be prepared and tested through a redesign of the reference buildingchosen for the project,” the SCI explains.

Alternativedesigns involving reinforced concrete will then be compared with thisredesigned reference, helping to give an overall impression of how they differon fundamental characteristics including cost and materials usage.