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French Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity Assessment and Life Management Strategy

[+] Author Affiliations
H. Churier, G. Balard, E. Meister

EDF/SEPTEN, Lyon, France

F. Clemendot

EDF/CEIDRE, Paris, France

P. Todeschini

EDF/R&D, Moret-sur-Loing, France

C. Pages

EDF/UNIE, Paris, France

Paper No. PVP2011-58064, pp. 727-735; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4453-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The structural integrity of the RPV is an essential issue for the plant safety. At the design stage, the demonstration is required with material properties at end of life, to ensure the adequacy of the design with the expected operating transients in all conditions. During operation, the integrity assessment is updated every ten years with new existing knowledge and feedback of operating experience, in particular in service aged material data coming from Irradiation Surveillance Program ISP, fluence evaluations taking into account the effective in service core arrangements in each vessel, in service detected flaws plus a postulated subclad crack whose detection cannot be guaranteed by the qualified ISI program. The final assessment showed that the regulatory criteria are met until the fourth decennial outage for 900 MW RPV. The analysis is performed in accordance with French regulations (use of safety coefficients) and follows a deterministic approach in which the input parameters and uncertainties are taken into account conservatively. For the future demonstration beyond 40 years, a multidisciplinary effort is committed to improving knowledge in order to reduce uncertainties in data and in methods. This extensive program involves in particular: - Thermohydraulic analysis and description of transients: temperatures and heat exchange coefficients; - Mechanical analysis: warm pre-stress effect and crack arrest. In addition, a complementary study using a probabilistic approach to rationalize the level of conservatism of input data is launched. In this report, the French deterministic approach and the main results for 40 years duration are presented and the new developments for the future.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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