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Stress Intensity Factor Estimation for Embedded and Surface Cracks in an RPV Subjected to Yielding of Cladding

[+] Author Affiliations
Katsuyuki Shibata, Kunio Onizawa, Kazuhisa Tanaka, Masahide Suzuki

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai, Ibaraki-ken, Japan

Paper No. PVP2006-ICPVT-11-93859, pp. 571-579; 9 pages
  • ASME 2006 Pressure Vessels and Piping/ICPVT-11 Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 23–27, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4754-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3782-3
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The cladding of an RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessel) at the inner surface may be subjected to a plastic yielding due to a high thermal stress under some severe overcooling events, while the stress in base metal remains elastic. The stress intensity factor estimation at the deepest crack tip of an embedded crack (EC) or a surface crack (SC) under such loadings is essential in the integrity assessment of an RPV. However, an elasto-plastic FE analysis is required to obtain the stress intensity factor on this problem generally. A solution for an under-clad crack (UCC) was developed by EDF based on numerous 2D FE computations. This paper proposes a simplified estimation scheme which takes the yielding of cladding into account. This scheme estimates the stress intensity factor at the deepest crack tip of an embedded crack or a surface crack. It is assumed that the stress singularity does not exist at the shallowest crack tip in the cladding. To estimate the stress intensity factor of an embedded crack, the crack shape is replaced by a semi-elliptical one to utilize existing solutions of SC. Case studies to examine the proposed estimation scheme were carried out for an UCC and SC subjected to the SBLOCA, SLB and PTS transients, which were defined by a international round robin PROSIR (Pro babilistic S tructural I ntegrity of a PWR R eactor Pressure Vessel) project being conducted by OECD/NEA/IAGE-WG. It was found that the proposed scheme gives a reasonable estimation of the stress intensity factor for an UCC and a SC.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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