The penetrations in the early Pressurized Water Reactors Vessels are characterized by Alloy 600 tubes, welded by Alloy 182/82. The Alloy 600 tubes have been shown to be susceptible to PWSCC (Primary Water Stress Corrosion Cracking) which may lead to crack forming. The cracking mechanism is driven mainly by the welding residual stresses and, in a second place, by the operational stresses in the weld region. It is therefore of big interest to quantify the weld residual stresses correctly. In order to determine the welding residual stresses, the weld procedure is simulated numerically by finite elements analysis. In the article, central as well as eccentric sidehill nozzles on the vessel head are analyzed. For the former a 2-dimensional axisymmetrical finite element model is used, whereas for the latter a 3-dimensional model is set up. A nonlinear transient thermo-mechanical analysis is performed, which is preceded by a transient thermal analysis simulating the heating during the multipass welding. Weld beads are deposited “all-at-once”. Different positions on the vessel head are compared and the influence of the sidehill effect is illustrated. The methodology is applied to the reactor vessels of the Belgian nuclear power plants by Tractebel Engineering (Belgium). The results are compared with literature. The global approach in both cases is very similar but is applied to different configurations, specific for each plant.

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