Numerous experimental and numerical studies have been conducted in France to demonstrate the beneficial effect of warm pre-stress (WPS) on the brittle fracture resistance of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels and take into account this effect in French RPV integrity assessment. A large panel of experimental data is available, obtained on small, medium and large scale specimens. These data have been included in a specific EDF WPS experimental database.

An analytical criterion — ACE criterion — is proposed by French organizations (AREVA, CEA and EDF) for analytical evaluation of warm pre-stress effect on the brittle resistance of RPV steels.

After a description of ACE criterion and the EDF WPS database, the validation of the criterion is shown — based on this database — by comparison between experimental results and predictions of the model.

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