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    Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2020)

    Structural Integrity Assessment of a Nuclear Vessel through ASME and Master Curve Approaches Using Irradiation Embrittlement Predictions

    (Received 7 August 2018; accepted 27 September 2018)

    Published Online: 2019

    CODEN: JTEVAB

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    Abstract

    The assessment of the structural integrity of nuclear vessels is based on a series of procedures developed in the 1970s and 1980s. On one hand, curves that, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers code, describe the relationship between steel toughness and temperature in the ductile-to-brittle transition region, based on the reference temperature concept RTNDT, were adopted in 1972. On the other hand, the material embrittlement derived from the exposure of steel to neutron irradiation is determined through the model included in “Regulatory Guide 1.99 Rev. 2,” published in 1988. Since then, there have been enormous advances in this field. For example, the Master Curve, based on the reference temperature T0, describes the relationship between toughness and temperature in the transition zone more realistically and with much more robust microstructural and mechanical foundations and uses the elastic-plastic fracture toughness KJc. Moreover, improved models have been developed to estimate the embrittlement of steel subjected to neutron irradiation, such as ASTM E900, Standard Guide for Predicting Radiation-Induced Transition Temperature Shift in Reactor Vessel Materials. This study is aimed at comparing the results obtained using traditional procedures to the improved alternatives developed later. For this purpose, the behavior of the steel of a nuclear vessel that is currently under construction has been experimentally characterized through RTNDT and T0 parameters. In addition, the material embrittlement has been quantified using “Regulatory Guide 1.99 Rev. 2” and ASTM E900. These experimental results have been transferred to the assessment of the structural integrity of the vessel to determine the pressure-temperature limit curves and size of the maximum admissible defect as a function of the operation time of the plant. The results have allowed the implicit overconservatism present in the traditional procedures to be quantified.

    Author Information:

    Ferreño, Diego
    Laboratory of Science and Engineering of Materials, University of Cantabria, E.T.S. de Ingenieros de Caminos, Santander,

    Fernández-Rucoba, David
    Technological Centre for Components, Santander,

    Casado, José A.
    Laboratory of Science and Engineering of Materials, University of Cantabria, E.T.S. de Ingenieros de Caminos, Santander,

    Bascones, Roberto
    Technological Centre for Components, Santander,

    Ruiz, Estela
    Laboratory of Science and Engineering of Materials, University of Cantabria, E.T.S. de Ingenieros de Caminos, Santander,

    Rodríguez, Álvaro
    Technological Centre for Components, Santander,

    Miguel, Roberto
    Equipos Nucleares, Maliaño,

    Poncela, Enrique G.
    Equipos Nucleares, Maliaño,


    Stock #: JTE20180569

    ISSN:0090-3973

    DOI: 10.1520/JTE20180569

    Author
    Title Structural Integrity Assessment of a Nuclear Vessel through ASME and Master Curve Approaches Using Irradiation Embrittlement Predictions
    Symposium ,
    Committee E08