An ASME Section III Task Group (TG) was formed in 2012 to develop alternate rules for the design assessment of Section III Class 1 nuclear components subject to fatigue service with environmental effects. Specifically, a flaw tolerance approach is being investigated based on similar methodology to that found in ASME Section XI Nonmandatory Appendix L. A key initial task of the TG (which reports to the Section III Working Group on Environmental Fatigue Evaluation Methods) was to develop and solve a detailed sample problem. The intent of the sample problem was to illustrate application of proposed rules, which will be documented as a Section III Code Case with a supporting technical basis document. Insights gained from round robin solution of the sample problem are presented and discussed in this paper. The objective of documenting the findings from the sample problem are to highlight the observed benefits and limitations of the proposed procedures, particularly how rules typically associated with in-service experience might be adapted into design methods.
The sample problem is based on a heavy-walled stainless steel nozzle that meets cumulative fatigue usage requirements in air (i.e., usage factor, U, without reactor water environment effects less than unity), but fails to meet usage factor requirements when environmental fatigue effects are applied.
The sample problem demonstrates that there is a class of problems dominated by severe thermal transients where fatigue initiation is predicted based on elastic methods including environmental effects, but fatigue crack propagation results are acceptable. Preliminary conclusions are drawn based on the results of the sample problem, and the next steps are also identified.