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The recent definition of a postulated thermal shock accident followed promptly by system repressurization, termed an overcooling or pressurized thermal shock accident, has set a large analysis and research effort into motion. The essential elements are concerned with defining the accident transients, evaluating the instrumentation and controls that cause the postulated accidents, and evaluating the metallurgical and structural mechanics aspects of the reactor vessel with respect to its failure potential. This paper poses the question faced by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the vessel steel embrittlement, annealing, and surveillance dosimetry facets of this postulated accident and provides information on our plans for study of this problem as well as current status.
reactor vessels, embrittlement, annealing, neutron dosimetry, surveillance, thermal shock, accidents, fracture toughness, crack arrest
Chief, Materials Engineering Branch, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC