Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2012)
Reactor Dosimetry and RPV Life Management
Reactor dosimetry (RD) is a tool that provides data for neutron fluence accumulated over the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) during the reactor operation. This information, however, is not sufficient for RPV lifetime assessment. The life management of RPV is a multidisciplinary task. To assess whether the RPV steel properties at the current stage (for actual accumulated neutron fluence) of reactor operation are still “safe enough,” the dependence of material properties on the fluence must be known; this is a task for material science (MS). Moreover, the mechanical loading over the RPV during normal operation and accidences have to be known, as well, for evaluation, if the RPV material integrity in this loading condition and existing cracks is provided. The crack loading path in terms of stress intensity factor is carried out by structural analyses (SA). Pressure and temperature distribution over RPV used in these analyses are obtained from a thermal hydraulic (TH) calculation. The conjunction of RD and other disciplines in RPV integrity assessment is analyzed in accordance with the FFP (fitness for purpose) approach. It could help to improve the efficiency in multi-disciplinary tasks solutions.