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FAVOR Version 16.1: A Computer Code for Fracture Mechanics Analyses of Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessels

[+] Author Affiliations
B. Richard Bass, Paul T. Williams, Terry L. Dickson, Hilda B. Klasky

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Paper No. PVP2017-65262, pp. V01BT01A002; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 1B: Codes and Standards
  • Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, July 16–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5791-5
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


This paper describes the current status of the Fracture Analysis of Vessels, Oak Ridge (FAVOR) computer code which has been under development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with funding by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), for over twenty-five years. Including this most recent release, v16.1, FAVOR has been applied by analysts from the nuclear industry and regulators at the NRC to perform deterministic and probabilistic fracture mechanics analyses to review / assess / update regulations designed to insure that the structural integrity of aging, and increasingly embrittled, nuclear reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) is maintained throughout the vessel’s operational service life.

Early releases of FAVOR were developed primarily to address the pressurized thermal shock (PTS) issue; therefore, they were limited to applications involving pressurized water reactors (PWRs) subjected to cool-down transients with thermal and pressure loading applied to the inner surface of the RPV wall. These early versions of FAVOR were applied in the PTS Re-evaluation Project to successfully establish a technical foundation that served to better inform the basis of the then-existent PTS regulations to the original PTS Rule (Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, Part 50, Section 50.61, 10CFR 50.61). A later version of FAVOR resulting from this project (version 06.1 - released in 2006) played a major role in the development of the Alternative PTS Rule (10 CFR 50.61.a).

This paper describes recent ORNL developments of the FAVOR code; a brief history of verification studies of the code is also included. The 12.1 version (released in 2012) of FAVOR represented a significant generalization over previous releases insofar as it included the ability to encompass a broader range of transients (heat-up and cool-down) and vessel geometries, addressing both PWR and boiling water reactor (BWR) RPVs. The most recent public release of FAVOR, v16.1, includes improvements in the consistency and accuracy of the calculation of fracture mechanics stress-intensity factors for internal surface-breaking flaws; special attention was given to the analysis of shallow flaws. Those improvements were realized in part through implementation of the ASME Section XI, Appendix A, A-3000 curve fits into FAVOR; an overview of the implementation of those ASME curve fits is provided herein. Recent results from an extensive verification benchmarking project are presented that focus on comparisons of solutions from FAVOR versions 16.1 and 12.1 referenced to baseline solutions generated with the commercial ABAQUS code. The verifications studies presented herein indicate that solutions from FAVOR v16.1 exhibit an improvement in predictive accuracy relative to FAVOR v12.1, particularly for shallow flaws.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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