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Solution of a Sample Problem Related to Revision 1 of Code Case N-830

[+] Author Affiliations
Mark Kirk

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD

Steven Xu, Cheng Lui

Kinectrics, Toronto, ON, Canada

Marjorie Erickson

Phoenix Engineering Associates, Inc., Unity, NH

Yil Kim

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Wilmington, NC

Darrell Lee

BWX Technologies, Barberton, OH

Do Jun Shim

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., San Jose, CA

Gary Stevens

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Huntersville, NC

Paper No. PVP2017-66150, pp. V01AT01A007; 11 pages
  • ASME 2017 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 1A: Codes and Standards
  • Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, July 16–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5790-8
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Within the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) the Section XI Working Group on Flaw Evaluation (WGFE) is currently working to develop a revision to Code Case (CC) N-830. CC N-830 permits the direct use of fracture toughness in flaw evaluations as an alternative to the indirect/correlative approaches (RTNDT-based) traditionally used in the ASME Code. The current version of N-830 estimates allowable fracture toughness values in the transition regime as the 5th percentile Master Curve (MC) indexed to the transition temperature T0. The proposed CC N-830 revision expands on this capability by incorporating a complete and self-consistent suite of models that describe completely the temperature dependence, scatter, and interdependencies between all fracture metrics (i.e., KJc, KIa, JIc, J0.1, and J–R) used currently, or useful in, a flaw evaluation for conditions ranging from the lower shelf through the upper shelf. Papers presented in previous ASME Pressure Vessel and Piping (PVP) Conferences since 2014 provide the technical basis for these various toughness models.

This paper contributes to this overall CC N-830 documentation suite by presenting the results of a sample problem run to assess the proposed revision of the CC. The objective of the sample problem was (1) to determine if the revised CC was written with adequate clarity to permit different engineers to accurately and consistently calculate the various allowable toughness values described by the equations in the CC, (2) to assess how these allowable toughness values would be used to calculate allowable flaw depths using standard ASME SC-XI approaches, and (3) to compare allowable flaw depths calculated using established Code practices (RTNDT-based) to those calculated using proposed CC practices (T0-based). The sample problem demonstrated that (1) the CC was written with sufficient clarity to allow different engineers to arrive at the same estimated value of allowable toughness, (2) the latitude associated with the provisions of the ASME Code pertinent to estimation of allowable flaw depth are responsible for some differences in the allowable flaw depth values reported by different participants, and (3) current Code estimates of allowable flaw depth are far more conservative (that is: smaller) than values estimated by the candidate CC methods based on the MC, this mostly due to the generally-conservative bias of the Code’s RTNDT & KIc approach. The candidate CC methods provide much more consistent conservatism than current Code approaches for all conditions in the operating nuclear reactor fleet via their use of an index temperature (T0) defined by actual fracture toughness data and a temperature dependence defined by those data.

The WGFE is continuing to evaluate candidate approaches to estimate allowable toughness values for CC N-830 using a T0-indexed Master Curve. Associated work is addressed by two companion papers presented at this conference.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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