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The prediction of the remaining life of a reactor pressure vessel (RPV) is a usual activity after removing and analysing a surveillance capsule. The life is assessed on the basis of two key parameters, the reference temperature RT (NDT) (T(K) for Eastern reactors) and the upper shelf energy USE. The prediction for a period of 40 years of the values reached by these key parameters tell us whether the RPV could operate beyond its design life.

Different correlations could be applied to estimate the embrittlement level at any operational time. The most well-known trend curves are given in revision 2 to Regulatory Guide 1.99. Recently, Eason and co-workers have developed for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission improved embrittlement correlations which allow a better estimation of the RPV life. An effort is being made also by the industry to introduce new trend curves throughout a new revision of ASTM E900.

In this paper we present and discuss the application of the new correlations to the Spanish PWR reactors, and also for the case of a selected WWER-I000 reactor. The calculated Delta-RT(NDT) and sUSE match very well the experimental surveillance data of the base and weld materials of all the Spanish PWR reactors and the base metal of the Eastern reactor, but not for its weld metal with a high Ni content (1.7 wt-%). %).

Additional information

Authors: BALLESTEROS A, Tecnatom S.A, Madrid (ES);BUSTOS L, Tecnatom S.A, Madrid (ES);GRYNIK E.U, Institute for Nuclear Research, Kiev (UA);CHYRKO L.I, Institute for Nuclear Research, Kiev (UA);DEBARBERIS L, EC-JRC, Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: Specialists Meeting on Irradiation Embrittlement and Mitigation. Sponsored by: IAEA. Held in: Gloucester, 14-17 May 2001
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