Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2012)
Ringhals Unit 3 and 4—Fluence Determination in a Historic and Future Perspective
The Ringhals site is situated on the Swedish southwest coastline. At the site, there are four operating nuclear power plants. Historically, the Swedish policy has been that the nuclear power plants were to be closed in 2010. The present position is to operate the units until their technical and economic lifetime has run out. The units shall be maintained and invested in to ensure a lifetime of at least 50 years, but the actions taken shall not limit the time to this date. When the initial surveillance capsules were evaluated, it was noted that the material properties of the weld material of unit 3 and 4 showed some deviations from the expected behaviour. Currently there is an extensive project running for re-evaluating the embrittlement situation from a long-term operating perspective. One part of the project is aimed at more accurately determining the fluence levels of the reactor pressure vessels (RPVs). The basis for the early evaluations of the dosimeters in the surveillance capsules and the corresponding fluence evaluation had an operating lifetime of 25 years as a target value. Therefore, the accuracy and refinement of the measurement and calculation were taken to be good enough to suit this life span. Looking back at the results from the dosimetry measurements there are a few discrepancies. Some of the dosimeters were disintegrated and some measurements had comparatively large uncertainties. When starting this project there were some re-evaluations done with the old fluence prediction model. For every new run and refinement there appeared new difficulties, and the decision was to start the evaluation from scratch.
Then there are two questions remaining regarding the fluence: What is the current fluence level? What will the resulting fluence be after 60 years of operation, when we have up-rated output power of both reactors? This paper aims to describe the view of the fluence evaluation in the surveillance program of the RPV, both in a historical and prospective view.