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NRC/EPRI Welding Residual Stress Validation Program: Phase III Details and Findings

[+] Author Affiliations
Lee F. Fredette

Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH

Matthew Kerr, Howard J. Rathbun

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC

John E. Broussard

Dominion Engineering, Inc., Reston, VA

Paper No. PVP2011-57645, pp. 1547-1555; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4456-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are working cooperatively under a memorandum of understanding to validate welding residual stress predictions in pressurized water reactor primary cooling loop components containing dissimilar metal (DM) welds. These stresses are of interest as DM welds in pressurized water reactors are susceptible to primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) and tensile weld residual stresses are one of the primary drivers of this stress corrosion cracking mechanism. The NRC/EPRI welding residual stress (WRS) program currently consists of four phases, with each phase increasing in complexity from lab size specimens to component mock-ups and ex-plant material. This paper discusses Phase III of the WRS characterization program, comparing measured and predicted weld residual stresses profiles through the dissimilar metal weld region of pressurizer safety and relief nozzles removed from a cancelled plant in the United States. The DM weld had already been completed on all of the plant nozzles before use in the mock-up program. One of the nozzles was completed with the application of the stainless steel safe-end weld to a section of stainless steel pipe. Measurements were taken on the nozzles with and without the welded pipe section. Several independent finite element analysis predictions were made of the stress state in the DM weld. This paper compares the predicted stresses to those found by through-thickness measurement techniques (Deep Hole Drilling and Contour Method). Comparisons of analysis results with experimental data will allow the NRC staff to develop unbiased measures of uncertainties in weld residual stress predictions with the goal of developing assurances that the analysis predictions are defensible through the blind validation provided using well controlled mock-ups and ex-plant material in this program.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Welding , Stress



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