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Optimization of a nuclear reactor foundation based on field geotechnical testing and numerical modelling

Mauro Sottile, Osvaldo Ledesma and Alejo Sfriso
Monday, November 18, 2019
First presented: 
XVI Panamerican Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Published paper
The Argentinian National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA) developed the RA-10 project, an experimental multipurpose nuclear reactor with a power of 30 MW, located in the Ezeiza Atomic Center, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The foundation of the reactor is a reinforced concrete mat placed on a sedimentary pile including Pleistocene indurated fine soils and deep Miocene clays. The paper presents various aspects of the design of this foundation, including the calibration of numerical models for the 3D ground-structure interaction analysis and the structural optimization of the mat in terms of stresses, deformations and interaction among adjacent buildings.

Feature Author

Mauro Sottile

Mauro is a Civil Engineer from the Northeast National University (Argentina) and MSc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has focused on the development of constitutive soil models and their implementation in commercial software such as Abaqus and Plaxis. He has knowledge on the implementation, calibration and use of constitutive soil models for the application of numerical methods in geotechnical design. Mauro also has experience in geotechnical laboratory and in-situ tests and recently participated in projects located in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bolivia and South Africa. Within his regular activities he collaborates as a teacher at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Senior Consultant
MSc in Geotechnical Engineering
SRK Buenos Aires
Osvaldo Ledesma

Osvaldo Nicolás Ledesma is a Senior Consultant at SRK´s Buenos Aires office, with experience in the design of foundations, excavations, tunnels, embankments and retaining structures for infrastructure and mining projects in Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Canada and Papua New Guinea.  He has advanced knowledge of numerical methods for geotechnical structure design as well as experience in geotechnical field and laboratory testing. Osvaldo is currently pursuing a PhD in numerical modelling of soils in unsaturated conditions and serves as Assistant Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geology at the University of Buenos Aires.

Senior Consultant
Geotechnical Engineer
SRK Buenos Aires
Alejo Oscar Sfriso

Alejo O. Sfriso is a Principal Engineer with 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering for infrastructure and mining works. He is an expert in the application of numerical methods for geotechnical design and analysis. In addition to his activity at SRK, he is the Director of AOSA - Geotechnical Laboratory, Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geology of the University of Buenos Aires, Vice President for South America of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering for the period 2017 - 2021, former Professor of Geotechnics at the National University of La Plata and former President of the Argentinean Society of Geotechnical Engineering.

Principal Consultant
PhD, Civil Engineer
SRK Buenos Aires
SRK Africa