Title: Probabilistic fracture mechanics analysis of reactor pressure vessel with underclad and through-clad cracks under pressurised thermal shock transient

Authors: Kuen Tsann Chen; Kuen Ting; Anh Tuan Nguyen; Li Hua Wang; Yuan Chih Li; Tai Liang Kuo

Addresses: Department of Applied Mathematics, National Chung Hsing University, No. 145 Xingda Rd., Taichung 402, Taiwan ' Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Lunghwa Univesity of Science and Technology, Taoyuan County 33306, Taiwan ' Department of Applied Mathematics, National Chung Hsing University, No. 145 Xingda Rd., Taichung 402, Taiwan ' Industrial Technology Research Institute, Material and Chemical Research Laboratories, Chutung, Hsinchu, 31040, Taiwan ' Industrial Technology Research Institute, Material and Chemical Research Laboratories, Chutung, Hsinchu, 31040, Taiwan ' Industrial Technology Research Institute, Material and Chemical Research Laboratories, Chutung, Hsinchu, 31040, Taiwan

Abstract: Semi-elliptical underclad cracks resulting from the fabrication process of a reactor pressure vessel (RPV) were able to be detected by non-destructive testing method. Meanwhile, after long-term operation under severe conditions, such as high temperature, high pressure, and irradiation, the RPV becomes brittle and susceptible to damage, especially when subjected to pressurised thermal shocks (PTS). Therefore, the probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) analysis of RPV with the crack should be applied to evaluate the operation safety. To the best of the authors' knowledge, few studies or computer codes have applied PFM analysis for such cracks. Therefore, this study conducts PFM analysis for cracks by modifying the calculation procedure of FAVOR 12.1 computer code. The results show that during the lifetime of a nuclear power plant, such cracks will not threaten the RPV's safety. Additionally, three methods were proposed to improve FAVOR 12.1's ability to perform PFM analysis for axial through-clad cracking.

Keywords: stress intensity factor; reactor pressure vessel; probabilistic fracture mechanics; pressurised thermal shock.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNEST.2018.092598

International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, 2018 Vol.12 No.1, pp.45 - 65

Received: 01 Dec 2017
Accepted: 12 Feb 2018

Published online: 15 Jun 2018 *

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