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Boiling Water Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity Evaluation by Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics

[+] Author Affiliations
Bo-Yi Chen, Chin-Cheng Huang, Hsoung-Wei Chou, Ru-Feng Liu, Hsien-Chou Lin

Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Paper No. PVP2010-25195, pp. 149-155; 7 pages
  • ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Division/K-PVP Conference
  • ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference: Volume 7
  • Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 18–22, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4926-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3878-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The Chinshan boiling water reactor (BWR) units 1 and 2, owned by Taiwan Power Company (TPC), started commercial operations in 1978 and 1979, respectively. The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) welds unavoidably degrade with the long time operation because of the fast-neutron fluence exposure. This effect should be considered in the life extension and license renewal application. Thus, the structural integrity of the axial and circumferential welds at the beltline region of reactor vessel must be evaluated carefully. The probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) analysis code: Fracture Analysis of Vessels – Oak Ridge (FAVOR), which has been verified by USNRC, is adopted in this work to calculate the conditional probability of initiation (CPI) and the conditional probability of failure (CPF) for the welds with 32 and 64 effective full power years (EFPY) operation, respectively. The Monte Carlo technique is involved in the simulation. This is the first time that the PFM technique is adopted for evaluating the risk of nuclear power plant components in Taiwan. Actual geometries, material properties, chemistry components, neutron fluence and operation conditions are used for the plant specific analyses. Moreover, the design basis transients/accidents described in the final safety analysis report are also taken into account. The computed results show that the failure probabilities of welds are less than 10−10 per year. Only the axial weld, W-1001-08, is found to have the probability of failure. The results of this work can be used to evaluate the structural integrity of the welds located at the RPV beltline region, and provide the aging analysis results for the life extension and the license renewal applications.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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