The investigation of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) materials from decommissioned NPPs offers the unique opportunity to scrutinize the irradiation behaviour under real conditions. Material samples taken from the RPV wall enable a comprehensive material characterisation. The paper describes the investigation of trepans taken from the decommissioned WWER-440 first generation RPVs of the Greifswald NPP. Those RPVs represent different material conditions such as irradiated (I), irradiated and recovery annealed (IA) and irradiated, recovery annealed and re-irradiated (IAI). The working program is focussed on the characterisation of the RPV steels (base and weld metal) through the RPV wall. The key part of the testing is aimed at the determination of the reference temperature T0 following the ASTM Test Standard E1921-05 to determine the fracture toughness of the RPV steel in different thickness locations. In a first step the trepans taken from the RPV Greifswald Unit 1 containing the X-butt multilayer submerged welding seam and from base metal ring 0.3.1 both located in the beltline region were investigated. Unit 1 represents the IAI condition. It is shown that the Master Curve approach as adopted in ASTM E1921 is applicable to the investigated original WWER-440 weld metal. The evaluated T0 varies through the thickness of the welding seam. The lowest T0 value was measured in the root region of the welding seam representing a uniform fine grain ferritic structure. Beyond the welding root T0 shows a wavelike behaviour. The highest T0 of the weld seam was not measured at the inner wall surface. This is important for the assessment of ductile-to-brittle temperatures measured on sub size Charpy specimens made of weld metal compact samples removed from the inner RPV wall. Our findings imply that these samples do not represent the most conservative condition. Nevertheless, the Charpy transition temperature TT41J estimated with results of sub size specimens after the recovery annealing was confirmed by the testing of standard Charpy V-notch specimens. The evaluated Charpy-V TT41J shows a better accordance with the irradiation fluence along the wall thickness than the Master Curve reference temperature T0. The evaluated T0 from the trepan of base metal ring 0.3.1 varies through the thickness of the RPV wall. T0 increases from −120°C at the inner surface to −104°C at a distance of 33 mm from it and again to −115°C at the outer RPV wall. The KJc values generally follow the course of the MC, although the scatter is large. The re-embrittlement during 2 campaigns operation can be assumed to be low for the weld and base metal.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Investigation of the Beltline Welding Seam and Base Metal of the Greifswald WWER-440 Unit 1 Reactor Pressure Vessel
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Schuhknecht, J, Viehrig, H, & Rindelhardt, U. "Investigation of the Beltline Welding Seam and Base Metal of the Greifswald WWER-440 Unit 1 Reactor Pressure Vessel." Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Modifications and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Next Generation Systems. Brussels, Belgium. July 12–16, 2009. pp. 289-295. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE17-75063
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