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NESC III Inspection Task Group Final Report Analysis of the Inspection results Obtained in the NESC III Blind RRT on Dissimilar Metal Welds

Funded under: FP6-JRC


The Network for Evaluating Structural Components (NESC) was set up over 10 years ago to address the verification of advanced structural integrity assessment techniques for safety-critical nuclear reactor components. Through its self-funded activities and associated projects, it has developed a significant body of benchmark R&D data, in particular for large-scale tests performed under closely monitored conditions.
The present report describes the work carried out under inspection task group (TG1) of the NESC-III project. The work was motivated by the recognition that the inspection of dissimilar metal welds continues to be difficult. The level of performance of ultrasonic inspection in defect detection and sizing, which was demonstrated in earlier PISC exercises, was not well aligned with the needs of structural integrity analysis. Development in ultrasonic inspection, for example the trend towards increasing use of phased array probes and tip diffraction methods for sizing, are claimed to deliver significantly improved inspection performance. Nevertheless, recent problems identified in some nuclear power plants with the characterisation of defects of complex morphology, such as primary water stress corrosion cracking, have again cast doubt on the ultrasonic inspection effectiveness. There was therefore a need for re-assessment of the capability of ultrasonic inspection.
A special pipe assembly containing defects and two different types of dissimilar metal welds (one austenitic 308/309L and one with Inconel 182 filler) was procured by the Reference Laboratory (JRC - Petten) for the NESC-III blind round robin trials. The inspection task group decided on the generic defect types to be considered, however the number, location, and dimensions of these defects were exclusively known to the Referee Group in JRC-Petten.

Additional information

Authors: ERIKSEN B, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL);ERIKSSON A, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL);HOUGHTON R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL);IACONO I, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22640 EN (2006), 91 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9893 Fax: +39 033278 5409 E-mail: or Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32 2 295 76 24 Fax: +32 2 299 63 22
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