Study on Life Extension of Aged RPV Material Based on Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics: Japanese Round Robin

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Yagawa, S. Yoshimura

University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan

N. Handa, T. Uno

Toshiba Corporation, Tokyo, Japan

K. Watashi

Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation, Oarai, Japan

T. Fujioka

Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Tokyo, Japan

H. Ueda

Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc., Tokyo, Japan

M. Uno

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan

K. Hojo

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Takasago, Japan

S. Ueda

Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, Tokai, Japan

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 117(1), 7-13 (Feb 01, 1995) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2842095 History: Received August 17, 1992; Revised August 25, 1994; Online February 11, 2008


This paper is concerned with round-robin analyses of probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) problems of aged RPV material. Analyzed here is a plate with a semi-elliptical surface crack subjected to various cyclic tensile and bending stresses. A depth and an aspect ratio of the surface crack are assumed to be probabilistic variables. Failure probabilities are calculated using the Monte Carlo methods with the importance sampling or the stratified sampling techniques. Material properties are chosen from the Marshall report, the ASME Code Section XI, and the experiments on a Japanese RPV material carried out by the Life Evaluation (LE) subcommittee of the Japan Welding Engineering Society (JWES), while loads are determined referring to design loading conditions of pressurized water reactors (PWR). Seven organizations participate in this study. At first, the procedures for obtaining reliable PFM solutions with low failure probabilities are examined by solving a unique problem with seven computer programs. The seven solutions agree very well with one another, i.e., by a factor of 2 to 5 in failure probabilities. Next, sensitivity analyses are performed by varying fracture toughness values, loading conditions, and pre and in-service inspections. Finally, life extension simulations based on the PFM analyses are performed. It is clearly demonstrated from these analyses that failure probabilities are so sensitive to the change of fracture toughness values that the degree of neutron irradiation significantly influences the judgment of plant life extension.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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