Brief account of the effect of overcooling accidents on the integrity of PWR pressure vessels Page: 1 of 20
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A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE EFFECT OF OVERCOOLING ACCIDENTS
ON THE INTEGRITY OF PWR PRESSURE VESSELS*
R. D. Cheverton
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830
The occurrence in recent years of several pressurized water reactor
(PWR) accident initiating events that could lead to severe thermal shock
to the reactor pressure vessel, and the growing awarness that copper and
nickel in the vessel material significantly enhance radiation damage in
the vessel, have resulted in a reevaluation of pressure-vessel integrity
during postulated overcooling accidents. Analyses indicate that the
accidents of concern are those involving both thermal shock and pressure
loadings, and that an accident similar to that at Rancho Seco in 1978
could, under some circumstances and at a time late in the normal life of
the vessel, result in propagation of preexistent flaws in the vessel wall
to the extent that they might completely penetrate the wall. More severe
accidents have been postulated that would result in even shorter per-
missible lifetimes. However, the state-of-the-art fracture-mechanics
analysis may contain excessive conservatism, and this possibility is
being investigated. Furthermore, there are several remedial measures,
such as fuel shuffling, to reduce the damage rate, and vessel annealing,
to restore favorable material properties, that may be practical and used
This report was prepared as on occount of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government
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Cheverton, R.D. Brief account of the effect of overcooling accidents on the integrity of PWR pressure vessels, article, January 1, 1982; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1074282/m1/1/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.