A significant extensive Research & Development work is conducted by Electricite´ de France (EDF) related to the structural integrity re-assessment of the French 900 and 1300 MWe reactor pressure vessels in order to increase their lifetime. Within the framework of this programme, numerous developments have been implemented or are in progress related to the methodology to assess flaws during a pressurized thermal shock (PTS) event. The paper contains three aspects: a short description of the specific French approach for RPV PTS assessment, a presentation of recent improvements on thermalhydraulic, materials and mechanical aspects, and finally an overview of the present R&D programme on thermalhydraulic, materials and mechanical aspects. Regarding the last aspect on present R&D programme, several projects in progress will be shortly described. This overview includes the redefinition of some significant thermalhydraulic transients based on some new three-dimensional CFD computations (focused at the present time on small break LOCA transient), the assessment of vessel materials properties, and the improvement of the RPV PTS structural integrity assessment including several themes such as warm pre-stress (WPS), crack arrest, constraint effect ....

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