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Leak Before Break: Studies in Support of New R6 Guidance on Leak Rate Evaluation

[+] Author Affiliations
J. P. Taggart

Serco Assurance, Warrington, Cheshire, UK

P. J. Budden

British Energy Generation, Ltd., Barnwood, Gloucestershire, UK

Paper No. PVP2005-71377, pp. 353-359; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/PVP2005-71377
From:
  • ASME 2005 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 1: Codes and Standards
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 17–21, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4186-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3763-7
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME

abstract

The concept of leak-before-break (LBB) is often used in safety cases for pressure systems, particularly in the nuclear industry. An important factor in making a LBB case is in the prediction of the leak rate of fluid through a crack. This paper presents a summary of a programme of work, which had the aim of improving guidance on leak rate evaluation for the LBB procedures in the R6 defect assessment methodology. Methods of calculating leak rates have been reviewed, and this has led to a crack morphology model being proposed, which represents single-phase isothermal compressible flow through a crack. In the crack morphology model, the flow is assumed by default to be fully rough turbulent, and the effective roughness to vary between a local roughness value for narrow cracks, to a global value (i.e. the overall crack contours) for wide cracks. The effect of pressure drops due to changes in the flow direction at crack turns has also been included. Calculations using the model show that the friction factor relation due to Spence et al. gives better agreement with measured flow rates than that due to Button et al., which tends to overestimate the flow rate for the examples studied. The inclusion of an inertial pressure term arising from changes in overall flow direction appears to be justified.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME

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