Caunton targeting the nuclear industry with innovative modular construction – practical details in a Paper in ICE Proceedings

Small modular nuclear reactors offer an opportunity to develop innovative design and construction techniques with the aim of maximising factory prefabrication and transportability of prefabricated units, and of facilitating their site assembly. This can be achieved through designs that incorporate advanced modular construction techniques. A paper written for the Institution of Civil Engineers by Caunton Engineering and the Steel Construction Institute jointly, provides an overview of the work undertaken to develop an innovative form of composite steel–concrete modular construction. The basic building block of the system is a steel plate folded into a U-shape with a concrete infill. Individual building blocks – called ‘steel bricks’ – can be joined together to create larger units that make up the modules of a small modular reactor. The work addresses the application of Eurocode design rules to structural elements constructed of steel bricks, as well as all the key manufacturing operations including plate folding; joining of units together; lifting of units; stability during erection; alignment and manipulation; joints between panels by either welding or bolted solutions depending on their application; connection to reinforced concrete foundations; and quality assurance and inspection techniques.

The concept is being demonstrated at full scale through the construction of a section of a diesel generator building. This full scale structure, the section of a diesel generator building, was the subject of a Dissemination Day with detailed presentations to an eminent audience including representatives from Arup, CH2M Hill (now Jacobs), CRA Risk (Now Assystem), EAT Ltd, Innovate UK, Mott Macdonald, MMI Thornton Tomasetti, Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Rolls Royce, Jacobs (Previously Amec Foster Wheeler) and Tarmac. The project continues to attract repeat visitors as well as interest and visits from major involved parties including AECOM and G.E. Hitachi.

For the full Paper “A novel steel–concrete composite system for modular nuclear reactors” please use this link.

Also included is a web link to the version of record: Permission to reuse this material is held by ICE Publishing.
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