Crack initiation and arrest in a pressurized thermal shock test for a model pressure vessel made of VVER-440 reactor pressure vessel steel

Heikki Keinänen, Heli Talja, Rauno Rintamaa, Kari Törrönen, Ralf Ahlstrand, Pekka Nurkkala, Georgy Karzov, Boris Timofeev, Alexander Blumin

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    A joint pressure vessel integrity research programme involving three partners is being carried out during 1990–1995. The partners are the Central Research Institute of Structural Materials “Prometey” from Russia, IVO International Ltd (IVO) from Finland, and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The main objective of the research programme is to increase the reliability of the VVER-440 reactor pressure vessel safety analysis. This is achieved by providing material property data for the VVER-440 pressure vessel steel, and by producing experimental understanding of the crack behaviour in pressurized thermal shock loading for the validation of different fracture assessment methods.
    The programme is divided into four parts: pressure vessel tests, material characterization, computational fracture analyses, and evaluation of the analysis methods. The testing programme comprises tests on two model pressure vessels with artificial axial outer surface flaws. The first model vessel had circumferential weld seam at the mid-length of the vessel. A special embrittling heat treatment is applied to the vessels before tests to simulate the fracture toughness at the end-of-life condition of a real reactor pressure vessel.
    The sixth test on the first model led to crack initiation followed by arrest. After the testing phase, material characterization was performed.
    Comparison of calculated and experimental data generally led to a good correlation, although the work is being continued to resolve the discrepancies between the measured initiation and arrest properties of the material.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-226
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1995
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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