One of the fundamental requirements on nuclear safety is to prevent the radioactive material from being released. Therefore, it is paramount to maintain the structural integrity of the pressure boundary of the reactor coolant system. The reactor pressure vessel (RPV), under high temperature, high pressure and high radiation in operation, is the most important as well as a Class I nuclear safety equipment. For a pressurized water reactor (PWR), the life of the RPV determines the service life of the entire nuclear power plant. The key factor controlling the life of a RPV is the accumulation of the neutron flux and which induces irradiation embrittlement degrading the anti-fracture capability of the RPV material. Several anti-fracture capability assessments carried out for the Qinshan 320MWe (QS1) RPV, such as (a) the structural integrity assessment against pressurized thermal shocks; (b) the fracture mechanics assessment under irradiation; (c) the P-T limit curves revised; (d) the evaluation of USE. They all demonstrated that the structural integrity of the QS1 RPV would be maintained for the extended service life.

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