Plants in the United States (U.S.) and many plants outside of the U.S. are required to meet the regulations of the Pressurized Thermal Shock (PTS) Rule, 10 CFR 50.61. The Alternate Pressurized Thermal Shock (PTS) Rule (10 CFR 50.61a) was approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and included in the Federal Register, with an effective date of February 3, 2010. This Alternate Rule provides a new metric and screening criteria for PTS. This metric, RTMAX-X, and the corresponding screening criteria are far less restrictive than the RTPTS metrics and screening criteria in the original PTS Rule (10 CFR 50.61).

The Alternate PTS Rule was developed through probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) evaluations performed for selected U.S. pilot plants. A Generalization Study was also performed which determined that the plants used for these evaluations were representative of and applicable to the U.S. Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant fleet.

Plants outside of the U.S. may be interested in implementing the Alternate PTS Rule. However, direct implementation of the Alternate PTS Rule may not be possible due to differences in plant design, embrittlement prediction techniques, inservice inspection requirements, etc. The objective of this paper is to explore the use the Alternate PTS Rule by PWR plants outside of the U.S. by proposing methods to account for the potential differences mentioned above.

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