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Fracture Toughness of Highly Irradiated Pressure Vessel Steels in the Upper Shelf Temperature

[+] Author Affiliations
Hiroshi Matsuzawa, Toru Osaki

Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, Tokyo, Japan

Paper No. PVP2006-ICPVT-11-93032, pp. 343-353; 11 pages
  • ASME 2006 Pressure Vessels and Piping/ICPVT-11 Conference
  • Volume 1: Codes and Standards
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 23–27, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4752-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3782-3
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Nine Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) Steels and four RPV weld were irradiated up to 1.2 × 1024 n/m2 fast neutron fluence (E>1MeV), and their fracture toughness and Charpy impact energy were measured. As chemical compositions, such as Cu, are known to affect the fracture toughness reduction due to neutron exposure, the above steels were fabricated by changing chemical composition widely to cover the chemical composition of the RPV materials of the operating Japanese nuclear power plants. 2.7 mm thick compact specimens were used to measure the upper shelf fracture toughness of highly irradiated materials, and their Charpy upper shelf energy was also measured. By correlating Charpy upper shelf energy to fracture toughness, the upper shelf fracture toughness evaluation formulae for highly irradiated reactor pressure vessel steels were developed. Both compact and V-notched Charpy impact specimens were irradiated in a test reactor. The fast neutron flux above 1MeV was about 5 × 1016 n/(m2 s). Charpy impact specimens made of Japanese PWR reference material containing 0.09w% Cu were irradiated simultaneously. The upper shelf energy of the reference material up to the medium fluence level showed little difference in the reduction of upper shelf energy to that which had been in the operating plant and which was irradiated to the same fluence. The developed correlation formulae have been adopted in the Japan Electric Association Code as new formulae to predict the fracture toughness in the upper shelf region of reactor pressure vessels. They will be applied to time limited ageing analysis of low upper shelf reactor pressure vessels in Japan, on a concrete technical basis in very high fluence regions.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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