The current flaw acceptance criteria for ultrasonic examination of welds in Table KE-301-1 and KE-301-2 of ASME Section VIII Division 3 (hereinafter Div.3) are almost similar to Code Case 2235 on ultrasonic examination of welds in lieu of radiography. This code case is based on general membrane stress and Charpy impact values of Section VIII Division 2 (hereinafter Div.2). The stress levels of Div.3 are higher due to lower design margin and larger stress gradient through the thickness due to large wall ratio than those of Div.2, and Charpy impact values requirements of Div.3 are also different from those of Div.2. Therefore, the flaw acceptance criteria on ultrasonic examination of welds for Div.3 should be reviewed. This paper is the first part of a two part paper. It describes the basic idea for review of flaw acceptance criteria in Div.3 and the proposed revised surface flaw acceptance criteria for welds based on fracture mechanics evaluation.

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