Pressurized Thermal Shock — An Integrated Analysis
The potential for long term neutron embrittlement of reactor vessels has been recognized for a number of years. Reactor vessel thermal shock is not a new concern, but with a growing number of plants approaching their mid-lives, it is a concern that must be understood and dealt with. Recent attention has focused on the performance of vessels during overcooling transients. This concern was designated as Unresolved Safety Issue A-49 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December 1981. The USNRC staff has identified eight overcooling events of concern in U.S. PWRs (Table 1). The concern is currently limited to Pressurized Water Reactors. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has supported research on reactor vessel integrity for a number of years and has supported an extensive effort on reactor vessel pressurized thermal shock (PTS) over the last three years. In addition, EPRI has developed a linked set of computer codes to simulate the pressurized thermal shock transients and assess the integrity of the nuclear reactor vessels for various overcooling transients. This paper focuses on the integrated analysis approach being used by EPRI in performing such analysis.
KeywordsReactor Vessel Steam Generator Electric Power Research Institute Pressurize Water Reactor Nuclear Regulatory Commission
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