The load and temperature history during pressurized thermal shock (PTS) event is highly depending on the crack edge location in wall thickness direction of a reactor pressure vessel (RPV) beltline region. Therefore, the consideration of plant specific through-wall fracture toughness distribution, which is not considered in the current codes and regulations [1,2], may improve the structural integrity assessment for PTS event.
The Master Curve (MC) method [3,4] is one of the methods, which can directory evaluate the fracture toughness of ferritic materials with relatively low number of any size of specimens. CRIEPI has proposed the use of very small C(T) (Mini-C(T)) specimens for the MC method. The appropriateness of Mini-C(T) technology has been demonstrated through a series of researches and round robin activities [5, 6, 7, 8, 9].
The present study evaluated the through-wall fracture toughness distribution of irradiated IAEA reference material (JRQ) by means of combination of MC method and Mini-C(T) specimens. Four thickness locations between inner surface to 1/4-T was selected. Those four layers were separately subjected to the Mini-C(T) MC evaluation in two different laboratories. Both laboratories could separately obtain valid and consistent reference temperature, To, from all the tested layers. Inner most layer exhibits 80 °C lower To compared to the 1/4-T location even though the layer has the highest fluence of 5.38 × 1019 n/cm2, while that in 1/4-T location is 2.54 × 1019 n/cm2. The results demonstrate that initial toughness distribution is dominant in the general trend of fracture toughness distribution even after the material was highly irradiated.