The H2020 project entitled “Fracture mechanics testing of irradiated RPV steels by means of sub-sized specimens (FRACTESUS)” started on the 1st October 2020. The aim of this project is to demonstrate the applicability of miniaturized compact tension specimens in fracture toughness testing of the reactor pressure vessel steels under hot cell conditions. Validation of this method in an industrially-relevant environment will be an important step towards achieving its acceptance by the nuclear authorities, and finally, to induce its prospective usage by the nuclear power plant operators. Successful implementation of a miniaturized specimens testing technique will result, among others, in the optimization of surveillance material usage and savings in irradiated materials testing. The general project overview showing its structure, partners involved and main deliverables was published elsewhere. Here, we focus on some technical aspects being of the utmost importance in the initial stage of the project and which will have a crucial impact on its overall progress. The general consideration on the selection of the best available materials for testing are discussed on the examples of 73W weld, A533B LUS and the WWER-440 base metal 15Kh2MFAA. Moreover, the general scheme of the testing process, which is planned within the project, is briefly presented as well as the basic assumptions about the numerical modeling task aimed for rationalizing experimental findings.

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