SMILE: A European R&D Program for the Inclusion of Warm Pre-Stress in RPV Assessment FREE

[+] Author Affiliations
Dominique Moinereau

Electricité de France, Moret-sur-Loing, France

Paper No. PVP2005-71245, pp. 277; 1 page
  • ASME 2005 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 17–21, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4191-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3763-7
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) is an essential component liable to limit the lifetime duration of PWR plants. The assessment of defects in RPV subjected to PTS transients made at an European level generally do not take necessary into account the beneficial effect of load history (warm pre-stress WPS). A 3-year Research & Development program — SMILE — has been started in January 2002 as part of the Fifth Framework of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). The SMILE project (“Structural Margin Improvements in aged-embrittled RPV with Load history Effects”) is one of a “cluster” of Fifth Framework projects in the area of Plant Life Management. It aims to give sufficient elements to demonstrate, to model and to validate the beneficial WPS effect in a RPV integrity assessment. Finally, this project aims to harmonize the different approaches in the European Codes and Standards regarding the inclusion of the WPS effect in a RPV structural integrity assessment. Within the framework of the project, an important experimental work has been conducted including WPS type experiments on CT specimens and also a PTS type transient experiment on a large component. The experimental results on CT specimens confirm the beneficial effect of warm pre-stress, with an effective significant increase of the material resistance regarding the risk of brittle failure. The WPS type experiment on the cylinder has been successfully conducted, with a final brittle failure during the reloading. The present paper describes the aims and objectives of the SMILE project, the main experimental results, and the corresponding analyses based on engineering methods, finite element elastic and elastic-plastic computations, and local approach to fracture.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
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