This paper is to study the effects of copper and nickel content variations on the fracture probability of the pressurized water reactor (PWR) pressure vessel subjected to pressurized-thermal-shock (PTS) transients. The probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) code, FAVOR, which was developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States, is employed to perform the analyses. A Taiwan domestic PWR pressure vessel with varied copper and nickel contents of beltline region welds and plates is investigated in the study. Some PTS transients analyzed from Beaver Valley Unit 1 for establishing the USNRC’s new PTS rule are applied as the loading conditions. It is found that the content variation of copper and nickel will significantly affect the radiation embrittlement and the fracture probability of PWR pressure vessels. The results can be regarded as the risk incremental factors for comparison with the safety regulation requirements on vessel degradation as well as a reference for the operation of PWR plants in Taiwan.

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