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Supplemental Stress and Fracture Mechanics Analyses of Pressurized Water Reactor Pressure Vessel Nozzles

[+] Author Affiliations
Matthew Walter

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Centennial, CO

Shengjun Yin

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Gary L. Stevens

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC

Daniel Sommerville

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Seattle, WA

Nathan Palm, Carol Heinecke

Westinghouse Electric Company, Cranberry Township, PA

Paper No. PVP2012-78119, pp. 737-747; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 15–19, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5502-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In past years, the authors have undertaken various studies of nozzles in both boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs) located in the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) adjacent to the core beltline region. Those studies described stress and fracture mechanics analyses performed to assess various RPV nozzle geometries, which were selected based on their proximity to the core beltline region, i.e., those nozzle configurations that are located close enough to the core region such that they may receive sufficient fluence prior to end-of-life (EOL) to require evaluation of embrittlement as part of the RPV analyses associated with pressure-temperature (P-T) limits. In this paper, additional stress and fracture analyses are summarized that were performed for additional PWR nozzles with the following objectives:

• To expand the population of PWR nozzle configurations evaluated, which was limited in the previous work to just two nozzles (one inlet and one outlet nozzle).

• To model and understand differences in stress results obtained for an internal pressure load case using a two-dimensional (2-D) axi-symmetric finite element model (FEM) vs. a three-dimensional (3-D) FEM for these PWR nozzles. In particular, the ovalization (stress concentration) effect of two intersecting cylinders, which is typical of RPV nozzle configurations, was investigated.

• To investigate the applicability of previously recommended linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) hand solutions for calculating the Mode I stress intensity factor for a postulated nozzle corner crack for pressure loading for these PWR nozzles.

These analyses were performed to further expand earlier work completed to support potential revision and refinement of Title 10 to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 50, Appendix G, “Fracture Toughness Requirements,” and are intended to supplement similar evaluation of nozzles presented at the 2008, 2009, and 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping (PVP) Conferences. This work is also relevant to the ongoing efforts of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel (B&PV) Code, Section XI, Working Group on Operating Plant Criteria (WGOPC) efforts to incorporate nozzle fracture mechanics solutions into a revision to ASME B&PV Code, Section XI, Nonmandatory Appendix G.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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