Use of On-Line Fatigue Monitoring of Nuclear Reactor Components as a Tool for Plant Life Extension

[+] Author and Article Information
G. L. Stevens, S. Ranganath

Materials Monitoring and Structural Analysis Services, GE Nuclear Energy, San Jose, CA 95125

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 113(3), 349-357 (Aug 01, 1991) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2928766 History: Received September 05, 1989; Revised December 28, 1990; Online June 17, 2008


The application of an on-line fatigue monitoring system for tracking fatigue usage in operating power plants is described. The system, like several others which have been developed, uses the influence function approach, operates on a microcomputer, and determines component stresses using temperature, pressure, and flow rate data that are typically available from plant computers. Using plant-unique influence functions developed specifically for each component location, the system calculates stresses as a function of time and computes the fatigue usage. Stress values are calculated at time intervals defined by the user and the fatigue values are saved on files for use at a later time. The application of the GE Fatigue Monitoring System (GEFMS) to calculate fatigue usage in the feedwater nozzle of a GE Boiling Water Reactor is described in this paper. Stress predictions using GEFMS for a sample temperature transient show excellent agreement with results from finite element thermal and stress analysis performed on a mainframe computer. Fatigue usage calculations for a simulated 24-hr temperature record confirm that the system provides accurate results at a cost that is significantly lower than similar analysis done on mainframe computer systems. The system, which has been installed in a boiling water reactor plant, provides the technical basis to evaluate actual reactor conditions and justify plant life extension.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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