An urgent problem for nuclear power plants is to assess the structural integrity of the reactor pressure vessel under pressurized thermal shock. In order to estimate crack behavior under combined force of thermal shock and tension simulating pressurized thermal shock, two series of experiments are demonstrated: one to study the effect of material deterioration due to neutron irradiation on the fracture behavior, and the other to study the effect of system compliance on fracture behavior. The test results are discussed with the three-dimensional elastic-plastic fracture parameters, J and Jˆ integrals.

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