Fracture mechanics characterisation of the beltline welding seam of the decommissioned WWER-440 reactor pressure vessel of nuclear power plant Greifswald Unit 4

Hans-Werner Viehrig (Corresponding Author), Eberhard Altstadt, Mario Houska, Matti Valo

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The paper presents data measured for trepans sampled from the decommissioned WWER-440 reactor pressure vessel of the NPP Greifswald Unit 4. The main focus of this work is on fracture toughness characterisation according to test standard ASTM E1921. Large variations in the evaluated reference temperature values, T0, across the wall of the multilayer beltline welding seam were observed. Generally, the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature shift predicted by the Russian code for the present content of deleterious elements P and Cu and the accumulated neutron fluences lies within the amount of the scatter of the measured T0 values. Metallographic investigations show that the T0 values measured with T–S oriented Charpy size SE(B) specimens from different thickness locations of the multilayer welding seams strongly depend on the microstructure at the specimen crack tip, and, consequently, on the initial structure of the multilayer welding seam. The RPV integrity is discussed, taking into account a pressurised thermal shock scenario.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
JournalInternational Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • Decommissioned reactor pressure vessel
  • fracture toughness
  • integrity assessment
  • master curve
  • specimen orientation
  • weld metal

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