After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, it has steadily become more important to ensure the structural integrity of cask systems containing spent fuels or radioactive debris during seismic events. These cask systems are free-standing cylindrical structures and are believed to show rocking and sliding motions at huge seismic excitations. In the worst case, these cask systems can possibly overturn or collide with each other. Therefore, it is very important to reduce the sliding and rocking motions of the cask system in order to avoid subsequent contamination due to radioactive substances.

To date, the authors have been studying the response behaviors of these motions, and have developed some types of methods that are effective at mitigating sliding or rocking motions, and confirmed the effectiveness of these methods. A system utilizing coaxial circular cylinders and high-viscosity liquid filled into the annular spaces was developed for the suppression of sliding motion. This system was installed at the bottom end of the rigid body. Previous studies show that liquids with high-viscosity provide a very large added damping effect that causes sliding motion to be suppressed significantly. For the suppression of rocking motion, the authors developed a system that utilizes a gyro system, and confirmed it’s effectiveness both analytically and experimentally.

However, the gyro system is slightly complex and requires electric power even during a seismic event. Thus, some passive suppression method is required. On the other hand, the above-mentioned coaxial circular cylindrical system filled with high-viscosity liquid is thought to have a high damping effect on rocking motion, along with suppression of sliding motion.

This study investigated the effect of rocking motion suppression due to the above-mentioned coaxial circular cylindrical system that is utilized for the suppression of sliding motion. First, an analytical model that can account for the coupled rocking and sliding motion was established, and then the rocking behavior of a rigid structure coupled with its sliding motion was studied. Next, shaking table tests were conducted by using a fundamental test model. By comparing the analytically obtained rocking motion with that obtained by the test results, the validity of the analytical model was confirmed. Finally, the analytical model was modified for cask systems equipped with a rocking suppression system, and the rocking motion was analyzed to evaluate its effectiveness.

The proposed rocking suppression system was found to be very effective in suppressing the rocking motion of the rigid body when subjected to base excitations.

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