This paper describes the effect of variability of fracture toughness of nuclear pressure vessels during a PTS event. The model used in this paper is based on the NESC-1 experiment. To determine the behavior of the surface breaking defect NRG performed three dimensional finite element calculations and subsequently extended these calculations to the probabilistic calculations. Three-dimensional finite-element model of the cladded cylinder was generated using ANSYS with semi-elliptical surface crack having a crack depth of 75 mm and a crack length of 205 mm. The cylinder specimen was subjected to thermal-shock and centrifugal loading conditions and analyzed with a themo-elastic-plastic material model and subsequently determined the fracture mechanics parameters (J and K) along the elliptical crack front as a function of time and temperature. The determined stress intensity factor K has been compared with the available cleavage fracture toughness (KJC) data with 50% fracture probability which has been obtained from the Master Curve according to BS7910. The comparison has been performed for the locations in the base metal as well as the locations in the heat affected zone.

Deterministic analysis has been extended to probabilistic analysis to calculate the failure probability for the crack initiation at the locations in the base metal as well as the locations in the heat affected zone along the crack front by considering probabilistic distributions from Master Curve and FAVOR. Master Curve analysis through the ASME code case N-629 has been applied to the material. Results obtained from these two methods have been compared and also the results are used to compare the inherent safety factors in the deterministic analysis using RTNDT and Master Curve.

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