Improving safety and reliability of new generation nuclear power plants
Nuclear power industry offering an alternative energy source is one of the most important to Russia with regard to the exhaustibility of oil, gas, and coal resources.
Safety is critical in nuclear industry, so the use of advanced materials is key for construction and repair of reliable nuclear power stations. This is achievable due to the high strength of carbon fiber tows composing the fabric and the superior adhesion of resin.
Carbon fiber composites are of interest to the nuclear power industry since they are non-corrodible, inert to magnetic exposure and retaining properties under extremely low temperature. The latter property of the carbon fiber allows for its use at the nuclear power plants in any part of the world regardless of the climate.
The primary advantages of carbon fiber are incredible strength and light weight.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic improves the strength of concrete and brick structures by more than 100%
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is non-corrodible
||Tensile strength, MPa||Tensile modulus, GPa||Elongation at break, %||Density, g/cm3|
|Carbon fiber made of PAN precursor||high strength, standard modulus||3500-5000||200-280||1.4-2.0||1.75-1.80|
|high strength, intermediate modulus||4500-7000||280-325||1.7-2.1||1.73-1.81|
|ultra high modulus||2500-4000||450-600||0.7-1.0||1.85-1.95|
Carbon fiber is used in nuclear power industry for repair/reinforcement of industrial buildings and structures.
One of the carbon fiber applications in nuclear power industry is manufacturing of gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment. This kind of equipment was formerly made of various aluminum alloys, but then carbon fiber proved to make significantly stronger and lighter items.
They are moving forward to the use of carbon fiber composites in the construction of nuclear power plants: fabrication and installation of reinforced concrete structures, composite pipes for cooling towers.
In 2011, the strongest earthquake in Japan brought the least damage to those nuclear power plants reinforced with carbon fiber.
So, one can conclude that carbon fiber is a promising reinforcement for nuclear power facilities.
Carbon fiber is also a promising material for construction and repair of nuclear power plants showing superior strength that could reduce the cost of facility maintenance.