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    Long Term Irradiation Effects on the Mechanical Properties of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels from Two Commercial PWR Plants

    Published: 2012

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    The Swedish nuclear power plants all have plant specific surveillance programs which includes samples from all relevant materials that are subjected to a fluence-level that exceeds 1*1017 n/cm2 over the estimated period of operation for the specific power plants. The Swedish pressurized water reactor (PWR)-plants are currently planning for a service period beyond 50 years of operation. As a portion of that, two of the three PWR units at the Ringhals site are conducting a major effort to verify the fitness to service of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV). In this case it is the weld in the belt-line region of the RPV, which is the apparent limiting factor. The weld metal contains high Nickel and high Manganese levels, not commonly used in other PWR-reactors. The effort includes a densified testing of the available surveillance capsule material in order to better understand the degradation phenomena and also an extended testing scope. A spin off effect of this program is that high fluence data for the base material also is made available from the testing. The chemical composition of the base metal is valid for many of the currently operating PWR-vessels. This study is an analysis of both the weld and the base material data extracted from the surveillance program. The results are evaluated against currently available data and correlation curves. In general, the results point out that the current Regulatory Guide 1.99 revision 2-correlation regarding the prediction of as-irradiated transition temperature is under-conservative for the tested material. The transition temperature shift, here evaluated as the temperature shift at 41J, is under-predicted by the correlation by as much as 70°C in some cases and increases with increasing fluences. However, prediction made by the French average irradiation embrittlement prediction formula, FIM-formula, is consistently better but still slightly under conservative.

    Author Information:

    Efsing, Pål
    Royal Institute of Technology, Dept. of Solid Strength, Stockholm,

    Rouden, Jenny
    Ringhals AB, Väröbacka,

    Lundgren, Martin
    Epsilon AB, Göteborg,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP104004