SOTERIA is focused on the ‘safe long term operation of light water reactors’. This will be achieved through an improved understanding of radiation effects in nuclear structural materials. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreement No 661913.

The overall aim of the SOTERIA project is to improve the understanding of the ageing phenomena occurring in ferritic reactor pressure vessel steels and in the austenitic internals in order to provide crucial information to regulators and operators to ensure safe long-term operation (LTO) of existing European nuclear power plants (NPPs). SOTERIA has set up a collaborative research consortium which gathers the main European research centers and industrial partners who will combine advanced modelling tools with the exploitation of experimental data to focus on two major objectives: i) to identify ageing mechanisms when materials face environmental degradation (such as e.g. irradiation and corrosion) and ii) to provide a single platform containing data and tools for reassessment of structural components during NPPs lifetime.

This paper provides an overview of the ongoing activities within the SOTERIA Project that are contained within the analytical work-package (WP5.3). These fracture aspects are focused on the estimates of fracture in both ferritic steels and irradiation assisted stress corrosion cracking (IASCC) in austenitic stainless steels, under irradiated conditions. This analytical development is supported by analytical estimates of irradiation damage and the resulting changes in tensile behaviour of the steels elsewhere in SOTERIA, as well as a wider number of experimental programmes.

Cleavage fracture estimates are being considered by a range of modelling estimates including the Beremin, Microstructurally Informed Brittle Fracture Model (MIBF), JFJ and Bordet Models with efforts being made to understand the influence of heterogeneity on the predicted toughness’s. Efforts are also being considered to better understand ductile void evolution and the effect of plasticity on the cleavage fracture predictions. IASCC is being modelled through the INITEAC code previously developed within the predecessor project Perform 60 which is being updated to incorporate recent developments from within SOTERIA and elsewhere.

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