Special Issue on Structural Engineering of Nuclear Related Facilities
Since it was first used, nuclear energy’s control has been an important issue. With the generation of electricity as a major nuclear energy application, the improvement of nuclear power generation technology has been required by society, including power plant design, construction, and maintenance and radioactive waste disposal.
Nuclear facilities must also take into account disaster prevention, as in the case of earthquakes and terrorist attacks, particularly because of the extensive potential and actual range of effects. This has made nuclear energy issues important considerations in JDR editorial meetings.
In the July 16, 2007, case of the Niigataken Chuetsu-oki Earthquake, quake ground motion equaled or exceeded that presumed in the design of the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station, the world’s largest nuclear power station.
Specific safety objectives for nuclear power plants include stopping the nuclear reaction, cooling the nuclear reactor, preventing radioactive material emission, and shielding surroundings from radiation – all of which were almost completely achieved in this case. Many problems were also revealed, however. JDR examined a special issue on Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station earthquake resistance at an editorial meeting but determined that such a topic remains premature.
In its stead, we have planned a number featuring the structural engineering of nuclear related facilities as a first step in a series of special issues on nuclear energy. The papers for this number were submitted mainly by the presenters of 20th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology, held in Espoo, Finland, in 2009 with the catch phrase “Challenges Facing Nuclear Renaissance.”
We greatly appreciate the many contributions to this issue, and would like to thank the reviewers, without whose cooperation this number could not have been published.
Please note that, independent of special numbers such as this one, JDR looks forward to receiving papers on a wide range of fields related to disaster.