Significance and Use
Predictions of neutron radiation effects on pressure vessel steels are considered in the design of light-water moderated nuclear power reactors. Changes in system operating parameters often are made throughout the service life of the reactor vessel to account for radiation effects. Due to the variability in the behavior of reactor vessel steels, a surveillance program is warranted to monitor changes in the properties of actual vessel materials caused by long-term exposure to the neutron radiation and temperature environment of the reactor vessel. This practice describes the criteria that should be considered in planning and implementing surveillance test programs and points out precautions that should be taken to ensure that: (1) capsule exposures can be related to beltline exposures, (2) materials selected for the surveillance program are samples of those materials most likely to limit the operation of the reactor vessel, and (3) the tests yield results useful for the evaluation of radiation effects on the reactor vessel.
The methodology to be used in estimation of neutron exposure obtained for reactor vessel surveillance programs is defined in Guide E 482
The design of a surveillance program for a given reactor vessel must consider the existing body of data on similar materials in addition to the specific materials used for that reactor vessel. The amount of such data and the similarity of exposure conditions and material characteristics will determine their applicability for predicting radiation effects.
1.1 This practice covers procedures for designing a surveillance program for monitoring the radiation-induced changes in the mechanical properties of ferritic materials in the beltline of light-water moderated nuclear power reactor vessels. This practice includes the minimum requirements for the design of a surveillance program, selection of vessel material to be included, and a schedule for evaluation of materials.
1.2 This practice was developed for all light-water moderated nuclear power reactor vessels for which the predicted maximum fast neutron fluence (E > 1 MeV) at the end of the design lifetime (EOL) exceeds 1 x 1017 n/cm2 (1 x 1021 n/m2) at the inside surface of the reactor vessel.
1.3 This practice applies only to the planning and design of surveillance programs for reactor vessels designed and built after the effective date of this practice. Previous versions of Practice E 185 apply to earlier reactor vessels.
1.4 This practice does not provide specific procedures for monitoring the radiation induced changes in properties beyond the design life, but the procedure described may provide guidance for developing such a surveillance program.
Note 1—The increased complexity of the requirements for a light-water moderated nuclear power reactor vessel surveillance program has necessitated the separation of the requirements into three related standards. Practice E 185 describes the minimum requirements for a surveillance program. Practice E 2215, "Standard Practice for the Evaluation of Surveillance Capsules from Light-Water Moderated Nuclear Power Reactor Vessels" describes the procedures for testing and evaluation of surveillance capsules removed from a surveillance program as defined in the current or previous editions of Practice E 185. Another standard guide for supplementing existing light-water moderated nuclear power reactor vessel surveillance programs is under preparation. A summary of the many major revisions to Practice E 185 since its original issuance is contained in Appendix X1.