For sodium pipes of Japan Sodium cooled Fast Reactor (JSFR), the continuous leak monitoring will be adopted as an alternative to a volumetric test of the weld joints under conditions that satisfy Leak-Before-Break (LBB). The vessels of JSFR are connected by thin wall pipes with a large diameter made of modified 9Cr-1Mo steel and the internal pressure of the pipes is very low. Modified 9Cr-1Mo steel has relatively large yield stress and small work hardening coefficient compared to the austenitic stainless steels which are currently used in the conventional plants. Therefore, these material characteristics of modified 9Cr-1Mo steel must be taken into account in LBB assessment, as well as geometrical and structural features of JSFR pipes. In order to demonstrate LBB aspects of the JSFR pipes, the authors have proposed a LBB assessment flowchart and developed assessment methods of unstable fracture and crack opening displacement (COD) for the thin wall pipes with large diameter made of modified 9Cr-1Mo steel. This paper studies the master curve to estimate the crack length when a postulated initial crack unexpectedly grows and penetrates the pipe thickness. In order to obtain the fatigue crack and creep crack growth characteristics of modified 9Cr-1Mo steel pipes, fatigue crack and creep crack growth tests were conducted using compact tension (CT) specimens and crack growth rates for both fatigue and creep at elevated temperature were obtained. Based on the obtained material characteristics and the results of a series of crack growth calculations, a relationship between the penetrated crack length and the ratio of membrane to total stress, so called as master curve, was proposed. In this study, master curves were proposed for pipes made of modified 9Cr-1Mo steel as a function of pipe geometry, i.e. the ratio of radius to thickness.

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