In the wake of numerous experimental tests carried out in air and also in a PWR environment, both abroad and in France, an update of the current thermal fatigue codification is underway in France. Proposals are currently being integrated in the RCC-M code [1].

In parallel, it is necessary to evaluate the impact of codification evolution on the RCS components. In the USA, such evaluations have already been implemented for license renewal to operate power plants beyond their initial 40 years of operation. In order to reduce the scope of the calculations to perform, a preliminary screening was carried out on the various areas of the primary system components: this screening is detailed in an EPRI report [2]. The output of this screening process is a list of locations that are most prone to EAF degradation process and it is on these zones only that detailed EAF calculations are carried out.

In France, a similar approach was defined in the perspective of the fourth ten-year visit of the 900 MWe plants (VD4 900 MWe) so as to map out all the locations that are most impacted by EAF and hence concentrate the calculation effort on these specific areas for the VD4 900 MWe.

In that respect, a specific methodology to evaluate the factor to account for environmental effects or Fen [3] based on correlations [4] for hot and cold shocks was established. These correlations use data that is readily accessible in transient description documents and stress reports such as temperature change, heat transfer coefficients, ramp duration and geometry. The need for these correlations is specific to the French context due to a need for a preliminary and yet precise idea of the overall impact of the modifications brought to the RCC-M code in fatigue before the VD4 900 MWe.

This paper presents the results of the screening method that was applied to the whole RCS of the 900 MWe NPP fleet.

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