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Unified reference fracture toughness design curves for reactor pressure vessel steels

The European Commission, DG XI, has published an invitation to tender for the completion of a study on unified reference fracture toughness design curves for reactor pressure vessel steels.

The objective of the work is to compare Western and Eastern fracture reference pressure vessel codes of LWRs, including VVERs, using statistical analysis methods and to establish the baseline for a new unified reference fracture toughness approach for future harmonization of codes.

The following items shall be covered:

- a) Identification of the background on methodologies concerning crack initiation and crack arrest approaches in Western and Eastern structural safety assessment codes;
- b) Compilation of all original available background test data that was used for fracture arrest and fracture toughness curves, including information about test and analysis methods;
- c) State-of-the-art in small specimen techniques for Kic and Kin fracture toughness determination;
- d) Reassessment of the reference fracture toughness curves (the lower bound for this reference curve will be derived by applying statistical analysis of the data);
- e) Comparison of the statistically-based fracture toughness reference curves with the currently used Eastern and Western procedures, defining a level of equivalent reliability between the procedures;
- f) Validation of the statistically-based procedure based on material data gathered by other projects;
- g) To set up the new procedure in a form suitable for codification purposes.

The study should be completed within 24 months of the signature of the contract. Tenderers must have demonstrable background in materials specifications, testing procedures of the RPV materials of NPPs, codes and standards applicable, and safety implications of the component.


Nuclear Fission
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