The (K, T-stress) methodology developed by Gao and Dodds [1] is being utilized to introduce crack front plasticity with constraint effects when plastic deformation occurs in structures, for example, when the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) are subjected to thermal-hydraulic loadings. One crucial step in this procedure is to quantify combinations of flaw geometries and loading conditions (transient sequences) that illustrate the limits of applicability of the two-parameter (K, T-stress) advanced fracture methodology relevant to integrity analyses of RPVs subjected to normal and emergency operating conditions. Numerical analyses were conducted to determine the limits of applicability of (K, T-stress) advanced fracture technology for RPV under thermal-hydraulic loadings. The numerical results indicate that the (K, T-stress) methodology captures the constraint condition of the RPV with typical embedded flaws under a postulated dominant thermal-hydraulic transient.

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