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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6809246, 14 pages
Research Article

Mitigation of Ground Vibration due to Collapse of a Large-Scale Cooling Tower with Novel Application of Materials as Cushions

Department of Structural Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Feng Lin

Received 18 May 2017; Revised 17 September 2017; Accepted 4 October 2017; Published 25 October 2017

Academic Editor: Mohamed ElGawady

Copyright © 2017 Feng Lin and Qiheng Zhong. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ground vibration induced by the collapse of large-scale cooling towers in nuclear power plants (NPPs) has recently been realized as a potential secondary disaster to adjacent nuclear-related facilities with demands for vibration mitigation. The previous concept to design cooling towers and nuclear-related facilities operating in a containment as isolated components in NPPs is inappropriate in a limited site which is the cases for inland NPPs in China. This paper presents a numerical study on the mitigation of ground vibration in a “cooling tower-soil-containment” system via a novel application of two materials acting as cushions underneath cooling towers, that is, foamed concrete and a “tube assembly.” Comprehensive “cooling tower-cushion-soil” models were built with reasonable cushion material models. Computational cases were performed to demonstrate the effect of vibration mitigation using seven earthquake waves. Results found that collapse-induced ground vibrations at a point with a distance of 300 m were reduced in average by 91%, 79%, and 92% in radial, tangential, and vertical directions when foamed concrete was used, and the vibrations at the same point were reduced by 53%, 32%, and 59% when the “tube assembly” was applied, respectively. Therefore, remarkable vibration mitigation was achieved in both cases to enhance the resilience of the “cooling tower-soil-containment” system against the secondary disaster.