Abstract

Probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) methodology, which represents the influence parameters in their inherent probabilistic distributions, is deemed to be promising in the structural integrity assessment of pressure-boundary components in nuclear power plants. To strengthen the applicability of PFM methodology in Japan, Japan Atomic Energy Agency has developed a PFM analysis code called PASCAL4 (PFM Analysis of Structural Components in Aging LWRs, Version 4) which can be used to evaluate the failure frequency of reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) considering neutron irradiation embrittlement and pressurized thermal shock events. PASCAL4 is expected to make a significant contribution to the probabilistic integrity assessment of Japanese RPVs. In this study, PFM analyses are performed for a Japanese model RPV using PASCAL4, and the effects of non-destructive examination and neutron fluence mitigation on failure frequency of RPV are quantitatively evaluated. From the analysis results, it is concluded that PASCAL4 is useful for the structural integrity assessment of RPVs and can enhance the applicability of PFM methodology.

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