Victor E. Saouma
Professor, Civil Engineering Department
University of Colorado at Boulder

Alkali-Aggregate Reactions

I have been working on AAR non-stop since 2002. Below are some of the salient information regarding this activity.


Merlin Validation for AAR

Download the full “Validation” report of Merlin for RILEM TC 259-ISR from here

Reclamation Project

Long Term Assessment of Dams Suffering from Alkali Aggregate Reaction; Assistance Agreement R18AC00055

This is a short summary of our project with the US Department of the Interiors Bureau of Reclamation, and this is a link to search engine we developed.

NRC Project

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Alkali Silica Reaction in Nuclear Reactors; NRC-HQ-60-14-G-0010; Oct. 2014 – Dec. 2017;

Submitted Reports

  1. Summary Report (Saouma), 23 pages.
  2. Design of an AAR Prone Concrete Mix for Large Scale Testing (Saouma, Sparks, Graff), 93 pages.
  3. AAR Expansion; Effect of Reinforcement, Specimen Type, and Temperature (Saouma, Howard, Graff, Hariri-Ardebili)
  4. Effect of AAR on Shear Strength Panels (Saouma, Graff, Howard, Hariri-Ardebili), 88 pages.
  5. Risk Based Assessment of the Effect of AAR on Shear Walls Strength (Saouma, Hariri-Ardebili), 21 pages.
  6. Probabilistic Based Nonlinear Seismic Analysis of Nuclear Containment Vessel Structures with AAR (Saouma, Hariri-Ardebili) 216 pages



  1. Hariri-Ardebili, M., and Saouma, V.E., and Hayes, N.W. (2021) “A hybrid FE-based predictive framework for ASR-affected structures coupled with accelerated experiments.” Engineering Structures 234
  2. Saouma, V. and Hariri-Ardebili, M., and Graham-Brady, L. (2020) Stochastic Analysis of Concrete Dams with Alkali Aggregate Reaction, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 132,
  3. Saouma, V. and Hariri, M. (2020) Integrative Experimental and Numerical Study of ASR Affected Nuclear Concrete Containment, Materials and Structures, Vol. 53, No. 1.
  4. Saouma, V. and Hariri-Ardebili, M. (2019) Seismic capacity and fragility analysis of an ASR-affected nuclear containment vessel structure, Nuclear Engineering and Design Vol. 346, pp. 140-156
  5. Hariri-Ardebili, M., and Saouma, V. (2018) Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of AAR affected reinforced concrete shear walls Engineering Structures, Vol. 172, pp. 334-345
  6. Liaudata, J. and Carol, I. and Lopez, C. and Saouma, V. (2018) ASR Expansions in Concrete under Triaxial Confinement Cement and Concrete Composites, Feb., pp 160-170
  7. Saouma, V. and Hariri-Ardebili, and Merz, C. (2018) Risk-Informed Condition Assessment of a Bridge with Alkali Aggregate Reaction, ACI Structures Journal, Vol. 115, pp. 475-487.
  8. Saouma, V. and Hariri-Ardebili, M. and Le Pape Y. and Balaji, R. (2016)Effect of Alkali-Silica Reaction on the Shear Strength of Reinforced Concrete Structural Members. A Numerical and Statistical Study, Nuclear Engineering and Design, Vol. 310, pp. 295-310.
  9. Na, O., and Xi, Y., and Ou, E. and Saouma, V. (2015)The Effects of Alkali-Silica Reaction on Mechanical Properties of Concrete with Three Different Types of Reactive Aggregates, Structural Concrete Vol. 17, pp. 74-83
  10. Saouma, V.E. and Martin, R. and Hariri-Ardebili, M. and Katayama, T.(2015)A Mathematical Model for the Kinetics of the Alkali Silica Chemical Reaction, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 68, pp. 184-195
  11. Saouma, V. and Hariri-Ardebili, M. (2014)A Proposed Aging Management Program for Alkali Silica Reactions in a Nuclear Power Plant, Nuclear Engineering and Structural Design, Vol 277, pp. 248-264.
  12. Puatatsananon, W., Saouma, V.(2013)Chemo-Mechanical Micro Model for Alkali-Silica ReactionACI Materials Journal, Vol. 110, No. 1, pp 67-78
  13. Saouma, V., Perotti, L., Shimpo, T. Stress Analysis of Concrete Structures Subjected to Alkali Aggregate Reactions, American Concrete Institute Structural Journal, Vol. 104, No. 5, pp. 532-541, September-October, 2007.
  14. Saouma, V. Perotti, L., (2006) Constitutive Model for Alkali Aggregate Reactions, American Concrete Institute, Materials Journal, Vol. 103, No. 3, pp. 194-202.

Submitted or in preparation

  1. Saouma, V. and Hariri-Ardebili, M.A., Shear Strength of ASR Affected Concrete and Concrete Structures, (90% completed)
  2. Saouma, V. and Katayama, T. and Hariri-Ardebili, M. Numerical and petrographic assessment of future concrete expansion due to AAR (40% complete)


  1. Saouma, V.E. (2021) Interpretation of Laboratory Tests on Mactaquac Cores, Report Submitted to NB Hydro through GEMTEC (Canada)
  2. Saouma, V. (2017) Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Alkali Silica Reaction in Nuclear Reactor, Summary Report  Report to the NRC, Grant No. NRC-HQ-60-14-G-0010
  3. Saouma, V., Hariri-Ardebili, Puatatsananon, W., and Le Pape, Y. (2015)Preliminary Results on the Alkali-Silica Reaction in Massive Reinforced Concrete Structures: Numerical Simulations of Coupled Moisture Transport and Heat Transfer and Structural Significance of Internal Expansion, Report ORNL/TM-2014/489
  4. Saouma, V., Hariri-Ardebili, M., and Le Pape, Y. (2015)Effect of Alkali-Silica Reaction on Shear Strength of Reinforced Concrete Structural Members, Report ORNL/TM-2015/588
  5. Hariri-Ardebili, M., Saouma, V., LePape, Y. (2016) Independent Modelling of the Alkali-Silica Reaction: Mock-up Test Block, Report ORNL/TM-2016/537
  6. Graves, H., Le Pape, Y., Naus, D., Rashid, J., Saouma, V., Sheikh, A., Wall, J. (2013) Expanded Material Degradation Assessment (EMDA), Volume 4: Aging of Concrete, Technical Report NUREG/CR7153, Vol. 4; ORNL/TM-2013/532}


  1. Gakuhari, Y. (2021) AAR in Concrete Dams. M.S. Thesis
  2. Graf, D. (2017) Environmental And Reinforcement Effects On Concrete Expansion Undergoing Accelerated Alkali Silica Reaction, M.S. Thesis
  3. Sparks, R. (2016) The Alkali-Silica Reaction: A Study Of Reactive Aggregates And Production Of Expansive Concrete Specimens, M.S. Thesis.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 2018-2021 Long Term Assessment of Dams Suffering from Alkali Aggregate Reaction; A Holistic Approach
  2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory 2016 Independent Modelling of the Alkali-Silica Reaction Mock-Up Test Block
  3. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2014-2017, Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Alkali-Silica Reactors
  4. Electric Power Research Institute, 2016, Report on Numerical Modelling of Nuclear Structures
  5. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2015, Alkali-Silica Reaction in Nuclear Power Plants
  6. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2014, Alkali-Silica Reaction in Nuclear Power Plants
  7. Progress Energy (Subcontractor) 2010 Unconventional Fracture Tests for Crystal River Project
  8. Tokyo Electric Power Service Company (TEPCO), 2001-2009, 3D Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Dams; Software Development and Technical Support.
  9. Tokyo Electric Power Service Company (TEPCO), 2009-2019, AAR Expansion in Concrete under Triaxial Confinement.
  10. Tokyo Electric Power Service Company (TEPCO), 2006-200707 Nonlinear Simulation of an AAR Affected High Voltage Transmission Tower Subjected to Strong Earthquake
  11. Swiss Federal Office of Dam Safety, 2002-2004, Numerical Investigation of Alkali-Aggregate Reactions in Dams,

AAR Short Courses

  1. USSD 2hr presentation “How to Tackle AAR in Concrete Dams”, Feb. 2022
  2. Paris, October 2009.
  3. Boulder, CO, April 2007
  4. April 2005

C-10/Seabrook Involvement

C-10 is a “citizen group” that advocates for the safety of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in order to protect public health and the environment in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and beyond. It has been very concerned by the Safety of the Seabrook nuclear power plant known to suffer from AAR.

Consolidated report of key documents I submitted

I have been working (pro-bono) with C-10 to push for greater  oversight of the problem by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Read my testimony on why the testing, monitoring and analysis of Seabrook’s concrete is, in my expert opinion, entirely inadequate. 
A recent presentation, ASR and Seabrook: 20 Questions and Answers. A summary of this issue and my takeaways, can be found C-10’s Challenge.

Key Events

Follow this link for key events and official documents.


Following are videos of my presentation (and contextual explanation by C-10 board members) at the 2019 annual meeting.


Media Coverage

Follow this link