Towards a New UHPC Mix Design for Nuclear Applications: A Review Study

  • Nataliia Igrashkina (University of Nevada, Reno)
  • Mohamed A. Moustafa (University of Nevada, Reno)


This paper presents a review of academic literature regarding various additives and modifications of concrete and cementitious materials in general, and ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) in particular, for applications in nuclear settings. The overall goal of the review is to inform future robust UHPC mix development to be specifically used for nuclear waste storage facilities, i.e. vertical overpacks and horizontal storage modules. There is an urgent need for longer term storage which calls for a new generation of extremely durable spent nuclear fuel storage facilities that could leverage UHPC. In nuclear settings, concrete is not only a structural material but used for radiation shielding and public safety. Research into general concrete additives and modifications for nuclear applications has shown the importance of incorporating heavy aggregates and boron compounds to increase shielding properties against gamma and neutron radiation. Over the past decades, various conventional concrete mixtures have been proposed to improve radiation shielding. However, less number of studies explored the effect of the nuclear environment on UHPC mixes, which are summarized in this paper. UHPC has significant advantages over conventional concrete in hostile environments, and it is expected that such features can manifest itself in nuclear applications with proper mix design and adjustments. The paper identifies possible degradation mechanisms in concrete overpacks and storage modules and in conclusion, proposes a theoretical UHPC mix adjustments for future storage facilities of spent nuclear fuel.

Keywords: radiation shielding, nuclear waste, concrete overpacks

How to Cite:

Igrashkina, N. & Moustafa, M. A., (2023) “Towards a New UHPC Mix Design for Nuclear Applications: A Review Study”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete 3(1): 120. doi:

Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). All rights reserved.

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Published on
04 Jun 2023
Peer Reviewed