One of the critical issues for reactor pressure vessel (RPV) structural integrity is related to the pressurized thermal shock (PTS) event. Therefore, within the framework of safety assessments special emphasis is given to the effect of PTS-loadings caused by the nonuniform azimuthal temperature distribution due to cold water plumes or stripes during emergency coolant injection. This paper describes the method used to predict the thermal mechanic boundary conditions (system pressure and wall temperature). Using a system code the pressure and global temperature distributions were calculated, systematically varying the leak size and the location of the coolant water injection. Spatial and temporal temperature distributions in the main circulation pipes and at the RPV wall were predicted by mixing analyses with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The model used for these calculations was validated by post-test calculations of a UPTF (upper plenum test facility) experiment simulating cold leg injection during a small break loss of coolant accident (LOCA). Comparison with measured temperatures showed that the modeling used is suitable to obtain enveloping results. Fracture mechanics analyses were carried out for circumferential flaw sizes in the weld joint near the core region and between the RPV shell and the flange, as well as for axial flaws in the nozzle corner. Stress intensity factors KI were calculated numerically using the finite element program ansys and analytically on the basis of weight and polynomial influence functions using stresses obtained from elastic finite element analyses. Benchmark tests revealed good agreement between the results from numerical and analytical calculations. For all regions of the RPV investigated and the most severe transients it was demonstrated that a large safety margin against brittle crack initiation exists and brittle fracture of the RPV can be excluded.
Safety Assessment of Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity for Loss of Coolant Accident Conditions
Beukelmann, D., Guo, W., Holzer, W., Kauer, R., Münch, W., Reichel, C., and Schöner, P. (December 8, 2011). "Safety Assessment of Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity for Loss of Coolant Accident Conditions." ASME. J. Pressure Vessel Technol. February 2012; 134(1): 011302. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4004799
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