Significance and Use
4.1 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 test specimen types are appropriate for the evaluation of radiation effects on the reactor vessel.
4.2 Guides and describe a methodology for estimation of neutron exposure obtained for reactor vessel surveillance programs. Regulators or other sources may describe different methods.
4.3 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 light-water moderated nuclear power reactor vessels. New advanced light-water small modular reactor designs with a nominal design output of 300 MWe or less have not been specifically considered in this practice. This practice includes the minimum requirements for the design of a surveillance program, selection of vessel material to be included, and the initial 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) exceeds 1 × 1021 neutrons/m 2 (1 × 1017 n/cm2) at the inside surface of the ferritic steel reactor vessel.
1.3 This practice does not provide specific procedures for monitoring the radiation induced changes in properties beyond the design life. Practice addresses changes to the withdrawal schedule during and beyond the design life.
1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
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 describes the minimum requirements for design of a surveillance program. Practice describes the procedures for testing and evaluation of surveillance capsules removed from a reactor vessel. Guide provides guidance for conducting additional mechanical tests. A summary of the many major revisions to Practice since its original issuance is contained in .
Note 2: 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 E185 apply to earlier reactor vessels. See .