Abstract

The Long-Term Operation (LTO) process involves a full screening of structures, systems, and components (SSCs), for ageing assessment in order to verify their residual safety margin is still acceptable. At today, 46% of the operating Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has lifetime between 31 and 40 years, while 19% is in operation since more than 40 years. LTO currently represents the highest priority for all the nuclear industry. To propose and plan suitable management strategies, first step is to intensify the efforts for studying phenomena that influence the performance of SSCs and, in turn, may threat the plant safe operation.

This study deals with the investigation of the performance of a primary piping (Class 1 component of a 2nd Generation PWR) subjected to the effects of alteration of material properties as caused by ageing. In this study it is proposed a numerical investigation of a piping characterized by a complex geometry. Numerical analyses were performed by means of MSC©MARC FE code. The (quantitative) influence of ageing and corrosion processes onto bent pipe are so studied. Particularly, corrosion effects generated from an operation of beyond 35 years are considered. The methodology and results may have an influence on future issues about LTO of NPPs.

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