NESC-IV is an experimental/analytical program to develop validated analysis methods for transferring fracture toughness data generated on standard test specimens to shallow flaws in reactor pressure vessel welds subject to biaxial loading in the lower-transition temperature region. It is the fourth major project of the Network for Evaluating Structural Components (NESC). The testing program has exploited material removed from a production-quality reactor pressure vessel. In Part A six clad cruciform specimens containing shallow surface-breaking flaws located in weld material were successfully tested. For Part B a further four beam tests were performed using an innovative test piece design with a simulated embedded flaw. Post-test analysis is now in progress. The implications for current best-practice procedures for evaluation of RPV shallow are also being considered.

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