In Japan, Japan Atomic Energy Agency has developed a probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) analysis code, PASCAL4, for probabilistic evaluation of reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) in pressurized water reactors (PWRs) considering neutron irradiation embrittlement and pressurized thermal shock (PTS) events. Besides severe PTS events, however, transients associated with normal operations, such as the cooldown and heatup transients associated with reactor shutdown and startup, respectively, should also be considered in the integrity assessment of RPVs in both PWRs and boiling water reactors (BWRs). With regard to a heatup transient, because temperature is at its minimum, and tensile stress at its maximum on the RPV outer surface, outer surface crack and embedded crack near the RPV outer surface should be taken into account. To extend the applicability of PASCAL4, we improved the code to include analysis functions for these cracks. The improved PASCAL4 can be used to run PFM analyses of RPVs subjected to both cooldown (including PTS) and heatup transients. In this paper, improvements made to PASCAL4 are firstly described, including the incorporated stress intensity factor solutions and the corresponding calculation methods for vessel outer surface crack and embedded crack near the outer surface. Using the improved PASCAL4, PFM analysis examples for a Japanese BWR-type model RPV subjected to thermal transients including a low temperature overpressure event and a heatup transient are presented.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.