Reconstitution in this paper means to constitute the original size compact specimen, which is made of the insert cut out from tested specimen and tubs welded to the insert. It is a promising technique to secure an adequate number of surveillance specimens for long-term operation of nuclear power plants. The fracture toughness of each reactor vessel of pressurized water reactors in Japan is measured periodically by 1/2T compact surveillance specimens, and is applied to assess the structural integrity of the reactor vessel under pressurized thermal shock loads. [1] This practice should be continued and enhanced if possible, after the full use of originally installed specimens, because its fracture toughness is lower than before. Reconstitution of irradiated 1/2T compact specimens to the original size was studied and demonstrated. Reconstituted specimens were composed of an irradiated material called an insert and un-irradiated tabs welded to the insert. It was demonstrated that the central part of the insert near the crack tip was not annealed by the thermal transient during welding if properly adjusted YAG laser welding was applied. Crack-tip opening and compliance before and after reconstitution were investigated by testing and analysis. Testing and analysis of un-irradiated specimens before reconstitution showed that the plastic deformation expanded to an area wider than 6 mm, the half width of the insert if it was a reconstituted specimen. The material had medium fracture toughness. The reconstituted specimen of the same material showed almost the same fracture toughness, although the weld could not be yielded as the insert, which could affect the crack opening. The crack opening was immune to the change of the deformation far from the crack tip. Correlation between J at 2.5 mm crack extension and plastic deformation width, and the effects of short time annealing of the insert far from the crack tip during welding were studied. Integrating the results, the conditions for reconstituting the 1/2T compact specimen were settled. The reconstituted specimen with irradiated insert designed to meet the conditions showed little change in fracture toughness.

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