Per 10 CFR 50 Appendix G, the pressure-temperature (P-T) limit curves and minimum temperature must be established to provide adequate margins for ferritic pressure-retaining components of the reactor coolant pressure boundary; this is to protect against brittle failure during any normal operating conditions, including anticipated operational occurrences and system hydrostatic tests, to which the pressure boundary may be subjected over its service lifetime. Specifically, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code Section XI Appendix G procedures must be used for P-T limit calculations considering the pressure and temperature at various operating transient conditions. However, the elastic fracture mechanics solutions in Section XI are only suitable for cylindrical reactor pressure vessel (RPV) beltline without geometric discontinuities. Hence, these solutions are not suitable for postulated flaws near the core support blocks attached to the NuScale RPV inside surface, which is part of the beltline. As a result, NuScale has used finite element analysis to calculate thermal stress and stress intensity factors for the postulated flaws. The solutions using finite-element analysis have been validated using the formulations for straight cylinders for both axial and circumferential flaws. In addition, special considerations are given to the RPV beltline nil-ductility transition temperature (RTNDT) due to neutron irradiation occurring at lower temperatures than conventional plants. This paper summarizes the methodology and finite-element models used to develop P-T limit curves for the NuScale RPV at the end of its 60-year design life.

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