Large structures in nuclear power plants are often separated by very thin fluid-filled cavities. For example, core support structures, thermal shields, and reactor vessels are usually large concentric cylindrical shells with annuli between them as small as 2 percent of the shell diameter. Such thin cavities cause the structures to be very strongly coupled, and such coupling must be accurately modeled to predict the dynamic responses of new designs to turbulence, pump acoustic loading, loss-of-coolant accidents, and seismic events. This paper summarizes a very versatile and efficient method of solving these problems with small personal computers. Among other things, this method uses component modal synthesis with the hybrid approach, and the solution of the resulting unsymmetric eigenvalue problem for the coupled vibration modes. System responses are then found in terms of “right” and “left” eigenvectors. Comparisons with test results are also presented.

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