The Reactor Pressure Vessel and Reactor coolant materials (hot and cold CAST elbows) are major components for integrity evaluation of nuclear plant units. The French Utility (Electricite de France) has engaged a few years ago an important program regarding the integrity assessment of RPV and cast duplex stainless steel elbows based on large real database. This paper deals with the verification of the integrity of the Reactor Vessel component by finite element mechanical studies, in all conditions of loading in relation with RTNDT (Reference Nil Ductility Transition Temperature), and considering all parameters. An overall review of actions will be presented describing the French approach regarding the assessment of nuclear RPV. The latest results obtained are based on generic integrity analyses for all categories of situations (normal upset emergency and faulted conditions), particularly in case of PTS, until the end of lifetime, postulating longitudinal shallow subclad flaws. For the Reactor Coolant Elbows, the results of structural integrity analyses, beginning with elastic computations and completed with three-dimensional finite element elastic-plastic computations for envelope cases, are compared with in-service inspection real flaw characterisation and the results are compared to the margin on loading condition with the criteria included in the code.

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