Abstract In Japan, the Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC), sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), had conducted a series of seismic reliability proving tests using full-scale or close to full-scale models to simulate an actual important equipment that is critical for seismic safety of nuclear power plants. The tests are intended to validate the seismic design and reliability with a sufficient margin even under destructive earthquakes. A series of tests was carried out on a reinforced concrete containment vessel (RCCV) for advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) from 1992 to 1999. A large-scale high-performance shaking table at Tadotsu Engineering Laboratory, was used for this test. The test model and the results of pressure and leak tests are described in Part 1. Test procedures, input waves and the results of verification tests such as changes of stiffness, characteristic frequency and damping ratio, the failure of the model and the load–deformation relationship are described in Part 2. Part 3 reports the seismic design safety margin that was evaluated from the energy input during the failure test to a design basis earthquake. Part 4 will report simulation analysis results by a stick model with lumped masses.