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For Official Use

NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

Organisation de Coopration et de Dveloppement conomiques


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

04-May-2015
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English text only
NUCLEAR ENERGY AGENCY

NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1
For Official Use

Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities


Working Group on Operating Experiences

Technical Note on Operating Experience:


Pre-Stressed Anchor Bolts Non-Compliances

JT03375546

English text only

Complete document available on OLIS in its original format


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NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

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NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

COMMITTEE ON NUCLEAR REGULATORY ACTIVITIES

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and Mandates for 2011-2016, the Committee shall promote co-operation among member countries to use
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and assist, as appropriate, other international organisations for co-operation among regulators and consider,
upon request, issues raised by these organisations. The Committee shall organise its own activities. It may
sponsor specialist meetings and working groups to further its objectives.
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common interest, avoiding unnecessary duplications. The Committee shall also co-operate with the
Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health and the Radioactive Waste Management Committee
on matters of common interest.

NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

FOREWORD

The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) believes that sharing operating
experience from the national operating experience feedback programmes are a major element in the
industrys and regulatory bodys efforts to ensure the continued safe operation of nuclear facilities.
Considering the importance of these issues, the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI)
established a working group, PWG #1 (Principle Working Group Number 1) to assess operating experience
in the late 1970s, which was later renamed the Working Group on Operating Experience (WGOE). In
1978, the CSNI approved the establishment of a system to collect international operating experience data.
The accident at Three Mile Island shortly after added impetus to this and led to the start of the Incident
Reporting System (IRS). In 1983, the IRS database was moved to the International Agency for Atomic
Energy (IAEA) to be operated as a joint database by IAEA and NEA for the benefit of all of the member
countries of both organisations. In 2006, the WGOE was moved to be under the umbrella of the Committee
on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) in NEA. In 2009, the scope of the Incident Reporting System
was expanded and re-named the International Reporting System for Operating Experience (although, the
acronym remains the same).
The purpose of WGOE is to facilitate the exchange of information, experience, and lessons learnt
related to operating experience between member countries. The working group continues its mission to
identify trending and issues that should be addressed in specialty areas of CNRA and CSNI working
groups.

NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

NEA/SEN/NRA/WGOE(2015)1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................................9
2. Description of the issue ............................................................................................................................11
3. Observations and regulatory significance.................................................................................................15
4. Root causes ...............................................................................................................................................17
5. Regulatory actions and licensee corrective actions ..................................................................................19
6. Conclusions ..............................................................................................................................................21
Appendix A: ASN Presentation.....................................................................................................................23
Appendix B: WGOE Questions And Country Responses .............................................................................29
WGOE QUESTIONS ................................................................................................................................29
CANADA ..................................................................................................................................................29
CZECH REPUBLIC ..................................................................................................................................30
FINLAND ..................................................................................................................................................30
GERMANY ...............................................................................................................................................31
INDIA ........................................................................................................................................................31
JAPAN .......................................................................................................................................................31
SPAIN ........................................................................................................................................................32
SLOVAKIA ...............................................................................................................................................32
SLOVENIA ...............................................................................................................................................32
SWEDEN ...................................................................................................................................................32
SWITZERLAND .......................................................................................................................................32
UNITED KINGDOM ................................................................................................................................32

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1. INTRODUCTION

The WGOE is a network of operating experience experts that allow countries to reach out on specific
issues to get timely feedback on practices and experience in other countries. The primary purpose of this
type of technical note is to capture the exchange of information for an emergent operating experience
challenge from a specific country and its resolution. Sometimes, these issues are resolved in such a manner
that they do not rise to the level of an International Incident Reporting System (IRS) report. This technical
note captures the operating experience.
In 2008, the presentation in Appendix A was given to the WGOE members to introduce the issue.
Following this presentation, questions were distributed to WGOE members to better understand
international experience and actions and to inform about ASNs plan of action. The questions and
responses of different WGOE members are gathered in Appendix B.

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2. DESCRIPTION OF THE ISSUE

The nineteen French nuclear power plants (NPPs) currently in operation are very similar in their design
and construction (PWR type). They each comprise from two to six units, which in total amounts to 58
reactors. Each reactor includes a nuclear island, a conventional island, water intake and discharge
infrastructures, and potentially a cooling tower.
The nuclear island mainly consists of the reactor vessel, the reactor coolant system, the steam generators
and the circuits and systems ensuring reactor operation and safety. Various support function circuits and
systems are also associated with these systems: primary effluent treatment, ventilation and airconditioning
These main systems or circuits are equipped with materials which are often attached to concrete slab with
anchor bolts. They are fixed by steel rods through the concrete slab. These rods are prestressed, i.e. under
tension during assembly, to prevent slippage and detachment of the support under the effect of forces
applied under normal or accidental situation, particularly in case of earthquake or pipe break.
Approximately 1,000 anchor bolts are used in a French reactor.

Figure 1: Anchor bolt description


In the early 1990s, several non-compliances were discovered:
- anchor bolts undersized comparing to their conception (ex: anchor bolts of the borated water tank
of the security injection system),
- stress corrosion cracking (SCC), which may cause the failure of the anchor bolt,
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-

and loss of tension, which is caused by delayed strains in concrete (such as shrinkage and creep
phenomena).

Following are two examples to illustrate the extend of the issue.


Steam generator anchor bolts

Figure 2 : Steam generator anchor bolts


Each steam generator of the French reactors is equipped with four self-locking devices. Each device is
fixed to the concrete by four anchor bolts and designed to get locked during an accident situation without
hindering the possible displacements of the steam generator in normal operating situations.

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Originally, these steam generator anchor bolts of 900 MWe CP01 reactors were not protected against
corrosion. Given their steel characteristics and their tension value, they are listed as being susceptible to
failure by SCC.
In order to cancel this risk, the 48 original anchor bolts of each reactor (except one) have been replaced by
protected against corrosion by a zinc layer, by the end of 2011.
Reactor vessel support anchor bolts
The concrete support of the reactor vessel is equipped with 18 to 19 devices which aim at preventing
horizontal displacement of the reactor vessel during earthquake. Each device is composed of 8 anchor
bolts.

Number of broken anchor bolts

Anchor bolts of the 900 MWe CPY2 reactors (except one 4-unit NPP) are affected by tension loss and
failure by SCC. The following diagram shows the evolution over time of the number of broken anchor
bolts discovered in the three most affected reactors.

Year

CP0 reactors : four reactors at Bugey (reactors 2 to 5) and two reactors at Fessenheim

CPY reactors : consisting of another twenty-eight 900 MWe reactors, that can also be subdivided into CP1 (eighteen
reactors at Blayais, Dampierre-en-Burly, Gravelines and Tricastin) and CP2 (ten reactors at Chinon, CruasMeysse and Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux)

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Figure 3 : reactor vessel support

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3. OBSERVATIONS AND REGULATORY SIGNIFICANCE

These deficiencies could impact the operability of safety materials during accidental situations, particularly
in case of earthquake or pipe break.

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4. ROOT CAUSES

Initially, no maintenance was supposed to be performed on the anchor bolts during plants lifetime.
Moreover, after tensioning an anchor, the prestressing force decreases due to the effects related to
behaviour of the steel and concrete. These effects were under-estimated during the conception.
Both conception deficiencies (loss of tension in anchor bolts) and construction/operation deficiencies
(SCC) are responsible for these non-compliances.

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5. REGULATORY ACTIONS AND LICENSEE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

Since 2003, for each component equipped with anchor bolts, a specific file has been created in order to
gather information concerning:
- the conception plan and the precise dimension of the anchor bolt,
- the minimum tension required,
- the maximum tension allowed (to prevent plastic deformation)
- the last prestressed tension applied,
Moreover, the loss of tension due to concrete shrinkage and steel relaxation is calculated in order to
estimate the date of the next prestressing operation. In 2009, the first results of these investigations
concluded the necessity to perform a tightening of 51,000 anchor bolts among the 60,000 in total every ten
years.
In 2010, ASN issued a position letter requesting particularly EDF to forward a preventive periodic
maintenance program and the demonstration of the exhaustiveness of its strategy. The aim was to ensure
that all anchor bolts were considered.
In 2011, a specific maintenance program has been issued by EDF in order to carry out the following
periodic checks:
- compliance with the conception design,
- no failure of the anchor,
- visual control of concrete (no crack and burst),
- visual control of the anchor to detect corrosion,
- sufficiency of prestressed tension and repair if necessary.
Concerning rupture due to stress corrosion cracking, anchor bolts have been repaired. Two main methods
are used:
- substituting the damaged anchor by another one protected against corrosion with a zinc layer,
- injecting a wax between the metallic sheath and the anchor in order to protect the anchor from
moisture.
ASN ensures that periodic checks and maintenance work are actually performed in accordance with the
requirements through worksite inspections, checks during the reactor outages and periodic technical
meetings with EDF.

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6. CONCLUSIONS

Conception conformity should always be checked during plants lifetime. Such checking should be
performed on site (walkdowns) and should also consist in reviewing the documentation.
ASN considers that actions undertaken by EDF to determine the applicable baseline requirements for each
component equipped with anchor bolts are indispensable to identify eventual non-compliances. Moreover,
the preventive maintenance programme provides a specific framework to carry out examinations and
repairs. However, the non-compliances identification method and the sufficiency of the preventive
maintenance program are currently being evaluated by ASN and its technical support, IRSN, and a position
letter should be issued in the near future.

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APPENDIX A: ASN PRESENTATION

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APPENDIX B: WGOE QUESTIONS AND COUNTRY RESPONSES

WGOE QUESTIONS
Q1 - Are your NPP equipped with pre-stressed anchor bolt?
Q2 - If yes, did the operators in your country face any problem with these equipments? How did they deal
with it?
Q3 - Do the operators take into account delayed strains in concrete to ensure anchor bolt but also reactor
containment structure (...) integrity?
CANADA
Q1 - are your NPP equipped with pre-stressed anchor bolt?
Pickering NGS Vacuum Building (VB) used similar post-tensioned rods in the concrete structure to tie the
roof slab to the wall. The anchor rods used in this case were not through bolts but they were embedded into
the wall of the VB.
Q2 - If yes, did the operators in your country face any problem with these equipments? How did they deal
with it?
Currently, the operator is developing the plan and the procedures for the inspection and testing for this type
of post-tensioned rods. Inspection of the pre-stressing system is part of the periodic inspection program
requirements for containment structures in NPPs in Canada.
Q3 - do the operators take into account delayed strains in concrete to ensure anchor bolt but also reactor
containment structure (...) integrity?
Yes, the effect of degradation of the concrete structure, including shrinkage and creep, will be expected to
be considered by the operators in the inspection and testing methods selected, and in the evaluation of the
inspection results for the post-tensioned rods. The periodic inspection program prepared by the operator is
required to be submitted to the regulator for review and acceptance.
Contact : James Mok, M. Sc., P. Eng.
Specialist/Spcialiste
Operational Engineering Assessment Division | Division de l'valuation technique de l'exploitation
Directorate of Assessment and Analysis | Direction de l'valuation et de l'analyse
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission | Commission canadienne de sret nuclaire
Ottawa, Canada K1P 5S9
james.mok@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca
Telephone | Tlphone 613-996-7338 / Facsimile | Tlcopieur 613-943-1818
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

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CZECH REPUBLIC
Q1: No, our NPPs are not equipped with pre-stressed anchor bolts use at Czech NPPs. We use different
types of anchoring usually bolts fixed in concrete.
Q2: Not applicable.
Q3: Changes in the quality of concrete are taken into account in the program of in-service periodical
inspections. Delayed strains are considered.
Quality of concrete is assessed mainly for the containment building at the Temelin NPP and for so called
confinement at Dukovany NPP.
You can find some information on Temelin NPP containment structure in the IRS report No. 7982.
FINLAND
Olkiluoto 1 and 2
There are no pre-stressed anchor bolts in Olkiluoto 1 and 2 units. Even machine foundations are
anchored by common grouted through bolts.
Olikiluoto 3
In Olkiluoto 3 unit steam generators and main circuit pumps as well as certain main stream piping
anchorage have been and will be done by pre-stressed bolts. Design solutions cover total life time
(60+5 years) of the plant by taking into account long period behaviour of structures and materials.
Such phenomena are ex. relaxation of bolts and creeping of concrete. Corresponding maintenance
program will be inspected during commissioning inspections after which STUK is able to give
further information.
Loviisa 1 and 2
Below is a drawing of the Loviisa reactor containment structure that shows (detail G) how the prestressed anchor bolts are used for fastening the steel containment into the concrete base plate. The
bolts are re-tightened and inspected via ultra sonic testing periodically (4years) for
possible deficiences. The outer bolts are demountable and can be replaced according to the
inspection program. So far (= 33 years of operation) no major problems has been noticed with the
bolts.

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Additional information considering Loviisa NPP:
Jouko Turpeinen, Manager, International Programs
Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Loviisa Power Plant
POB 23, 07901 Loviisa, FINLAND
Tel: + 358 10 4554733 (direct) or + 358 50 5446840 (mobile)
Fax: + 358 10 4554435
Email: jouko.turpeinen@fortum.com
GERMANY
German NPPS do not have this type of anchors. No associated events.
INDIA
Q1 - Are your NPP equipped with prestressed anchor bolt ?
In Indian Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) design, pre-stressed anchor bolts are not in use. For
heavy equipment, like DGs, compressors, transformers etc, cast in place J bolts or grouted anchor bolts are
used. For lighter equipment like control panels, cabinets etc, embedded plates are used to weld the
equipment base.
However, the hanger supports for calandria and steam generators at older generation Rajasthan and Madras
atomic power station units 1&2, are pre-stressed with external springs. The spring tension and hanger prestressing is checked periodically.
Q2. If yes, did the operators in your country face any problem with these equipment? How did they deal
with it?
No problems with existing anchors.
Q 3, do the operators take into account delayed strains in concrete to ensure anchor bolt but also reactor
containment structure integrity?
In Indian NPPs, no pre-stressed anchor is used on containment structure. Reactor
containment structure is provided with specially designed embedded openings for routing pipes, power
cables and I&C cables etc.
JAPAN
Response to French question regarding pre-stressed anchor bolt (Japan)
By: Shigeo TAMAO (JNES)
Q1 - are your NPP equiped with pre-stressed anchor bolt?
No.
Q2 -If yes, did the operators in your country face any problem with these equipment?
How did they deal with it?
NA
Q3 -Do the operators take into account delayed strains in concrete to ensure anchor bolt but also reactor
containment structure (...) integrity?

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In Japan anchor bolt is not pre-stressed. The only concern of delayed strain in concrete is the relaxation of
tendon in PCCV. But tendons are applicable to re-stress if needed.
SPAIN
No associated events.
SLOVAKIA
The nuclear power plants (NPPS) do not have this type of anchors. No associated events.
SLOVENIA
The answers to the questions of the pre-stressed anchor bolt are:
1. Answer: NPP Krsko is not equipped with the pre-stressed anchor bolts.
2. Answer: N/A.
3. Answer: N/A.
SWEDEN
NPPS do not have this type of anchors. No associated events.
SWITZERLAND
Q1 - are your NPP equiped with pre-stressed anchor bolt?
It is not very common but we have some.
Q2 - If yes, did the operators in your country face any problem with these equipments ? How did they deal
with it ?
No problems, but the corresponding equipment is listed in the periodic maintenance program. E.g. for pipe
supports a perodic control (readjustement) of the force is requested. - Problematic is the use of so called
expansible anchors. There is a phenomena that reduces pre-stress within very short time.
Q3 - do the operators take into account delayed strains in concrete to ensure anchor bolt but also reactor
containment structure (...) integrity?
The mentioned phenomena are known. See also Q2.
UNITED KINGDOM
Response from UK Magnox South's 5 sites
Q1 - are your NPP equiped with pre-stressed anchor bolt?
A1 - Yes, Liebig anchor bolt installations to brackets civil structures at Dungeness A and Bradwell. They
were installed well after original construction but over 10 years ago. MXS civil personnel also have
experience of these bolts at nuclear power stations now operated by other licenses which inform us, but not
directly referred to here.
Q2 - If yes, did the operators in your country face any problem with these equipments? How did they deal
with it?

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A2 - Installation of Liebig anchors consists of drilling and under cutting the bolt hole, inserting the bolt
assembly, torquing the bolt and re-torquing it more than 24 hrs later. There have been very few installation
problems which are revealed before or during bolt torquing. Appropriate training and management of the
operatives has been sufficient to deal with such matters. The brackets are subject to routine inspections
which show the bolts remain in good condition, for some bolts these inspections include torque checks and
these too have been satisfactory for over 10 years.
Q3 - do the operators take into account delayed strains in concrete to ensure anchor bolt but also reactor
containment structure (...) integrity ?
A3 - Yes, delayed strains in the concrete and in the bolt are taken account of by re-torquing the bolt after
more than 24 hrs. This is supported by tests that we are aware of, the manufacturer's recommendations and
our operational experience in A2. The bolts referred to contribute to reactor building structures but not to
reactor containment structures."
Response from UK Magnox North's Wylfa NPP
Reactors at Wylfa Power Station have Liebig Anchors securing the Superheater Header Restraints and load
cell readings have been taken of about 30 of them over the last 10 years to check that the anchors retain
95% of their design load. The anchors monitored are M24 and M36 with the majority being M24 with a
design loading of 132kN. A general summary of characteristics of these anchors, from a quick review of
the graphs plotted from the load cell readings, is that initial load is lost over the first 2 to 3 months and
after about a year general linear behaviour is established with losses averaging about 5% of the design
load, with a maximum of say10%, occurring over the following 9 years. If you think the detailed
information from the monitoring would be helpful to yourself or your French colleagues please would you
request this directly from Wylfa."
I have received additional information below from one of the NII civil engineering specialists.
The main points have been picked up by the French colleagues i.e Stress Corrosion Cracking and Creep. I
would also make the following observations in relation to prestressed anchorages:
1. The maintenance regime should be well documented.
2. The design should allow for checking pre-load and re-stressing if required.
3. Continuous monitoring may be appropriate (cf rock anchorages).
4. If practicable the design should allow for inspection of the anchorages and the tension system (bar, or
strand etc.)
5. Through section systems are best with a positive anchorage at each end.
6. Blind anchorages where the remote end cannot be inspected require careful design:
a)

Cast in plate give a better bearing generally with less anchorage creep problems.

b)

Drilled holes where the anchorage is formed by mechanical means or by grouting are more
prone to creep. Hole should be undercut.

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