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Experimental Program to Monitor the Irradiation Induced Embrittlement of the French Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels

[+] Author Affiliations
Guillaume Chas, Astrid Hotellier

EDF Generation and Trading, Avoine, France

Nathalie Rupa, Josseline Bourgoin

EDF Generation and Trading, Saint-Denis Cedex, France

Sébastien Saillet

EDF R&D, Moret Sur Loing, France

Paper No. PVP2004-3054, pp. 25-35; 11 pages
  • ASME/JSME 2004 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Storage Tank Integrity and Materials Evaluation
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 25–29, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4685-7
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


By monitoring the irradiation-induced embrittlement of materials, the Pressure Vessel Surveillance Program (PVSP) contributes to the RPV integrity and lifetime assessments. This program is implemented on each PWR Unit in France; it is mainly based on Charpy tests, which are widely used in the nuclear industry to characterize the mechanical properties of the materials. Moreover, toughness tests are also carried out to check the conservatism of the PVSP methodology. This paper first describes the procedure followed for the Pressure Vessel Surveillance Program. It presents the irradiation capsules: the samples materials (low alloy Mn, Ni, Mo vessel steel including base metals, heat affected zones, welds and a reference material) and the mechanical tests performed. Then it draws up a synthesis of the analysis of about 180 capsules removed from the reactors at fluence levels up to 7.1019 n/cm2 (E > 1 MeV). This database gathers the results of more than 10,000 Charpy tests and 250 toughness tests. The experimental results confirm the conservatism of the Code-based methodology applied to the toughness assessment.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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