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Distributions of Fabrication Flaws in Reactor Pressure Vessels for Structural Integrity Evaluations

[+] Author Affiliations
F. A. Simonen, G. J. Schuster, S. R. Doctor

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

T. L. Dickson

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Paper No. PVP2002-1361, pp. 133-143; 11 pages
  • ASME 2002 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Fatigue, Fracture and Damage Analysis, Volume 2
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 5–9, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4654-7
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


To reduce uncertainties in flaw-related inputs for probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) evaluations, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) has supported research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) involving nondestructive and destructive examinations for fabrication flaws in reactor pressure vessel (RPV) material. Using these data, statistical distributions have been developed to characterize the flaws in regions of a RPV. The regions include the main seam welds, repair welds, base metal, and the cladding at the inner surface of the vessel. This paper summarizes the available data and describes the treatment of these data to estimate flaw densities, flaw depth distributions, and flaw aspect ratio distributions. The methodology has generated flaw-related inputs for PFM calculations that have been part of an effort to update pressurized thermal shock (PTS) regulations. Statistical treatments of uncertainties in the parameters of the flaw distribution functions are part of the inputs to the PFM calculations. The paper concludes with a presentation of some example input files that have supported evaluations by USNRC of the risk of vessel failures caused by PTS events.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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