Purdue University researchers are testing a new design for nuclear power plants to make sure it can survive strong earthquakes.
The Purdue team will test components of an "enhanced shield building" designed by Westinghouse Electric Co. to contain the main system components of nuclear power plants.
That building consists of an inner steel-wall containment vessel and an outer radiation shield made using a technology called steel-concrete-composite construction.
Conventional design for those buildings use reinforced concrete strengthened with steel bars. But the new design uses a sandwich of steel plates filled with concrete.
The Purdue researchers are concentrating on how seismic forces affect the concrete-filled walls, the connection between the walls, and the structure's reinforced-concrete foundation.
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