This paper provides a historical perspective of the effects of cladding and the analyses techniques used to evaluate the integrity of an RPV subjected to pressurized thermal shock (PTS) transients. A summary of the specific requirements of the draft revised PTS rule (10 CFR 50.61) and the role of cladding in the evaluation of the RPV integrity under the revised PTS Rule are discussed in detail. The technical basis for the revision of the PTS Rule is based on two main criteria: (1) NDE requirements and (2) Calculation of RTMAX-X and ΔT30. NDE requirements of the Rule include performing volumetric inspections using procedures, equipment and personnel qualified under ASME Section XI, Appendix VIII. The flaw density limits specified in the new Rule are more restrictive than those stipulated by Section XI of the ASME Code. The licensee is required to demonstrate by performing analysis based on the flaw size and density inputs that the through wall cracking frequency does not exceed 1E−6 per reactor year. Based on the understanding of the requirements of the revised PTS Rule, there may be an increase in the effort needed by the utility to meet these requirements. The potential benefits of the Rule for extending vessel life may be very large, but there are also some risks in using the Rule if flaws are detected in or near the cladding. This paper summarizes the potential impacts on operating plants that choose to request relief from existing PTS Rules by implementing the new PTS Rule.

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