The efficiency of fracture toughness determined by the methodology of normative document PNAE G-7-002-86 has been analyzed.
Crack resistance characteristics of WWER-1000 reactor pressure vessel base metal at unirradiated condition are obtained by experimental way. All specimens were made of the RPV support forging (15Kh2NMFA steel) of abandoned Crimean NPP Fracture toughness experiments were carried out on three types of specimens CT 1T, CT 0.5T and SEB over a temperature range from −130°C to −40°C in fully accordance to the ASTM E1921. Charpy impact energy data obtained on twelve specimens over a temperature range from −80°C to 80°C has been used to determine the 47J transition temperature.
Comparison of obtained fracture toughness data with normative curve shows that the last one has unreasonably high lower shelf. It has been found that the PNAE G-7-002-86 Code, which uses the ideology of transition temperature shift, is too conservative to estimate WWER-1000 RPVs resistance against brittle fracture for the pressurized thermal shock (over 90 MPa·√m area of stress intensity factor).