Analysis of Pressurized Water Reactor Primary Coolant Leak Events Caused by Thermal Fatigue

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We present statistical analyses of pressurized water reactor (PWR) primary coolant leak events caused by thermal fatigue, and discuss their safety significance. Our worldwide data contain 13 leak events (through-wall cracking) in 3509 reactor-years, all in stainless steel piping with diameter less than 25 cm. Several types of data analysis show that the frequency of leak events (events per reactor-year) is increasing with plant age, and the increase is statistically significant. When an exponential trend model is assumed, the leak frequency is estimated to double every 8 years of reactor age, although this result should not be extrapolated to plants ... continued below

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71 Kilobytes pages

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Atwood, C. L.; Shah, V. N. & Galyean, W. J. September 1, 1999.

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Description

We present statistical analyses of pressurized water reactor (PWR) primary coolant leak events caused by thermal fatigue, and discuss their safety significance. Our worldwide data contain 13 leak events (through-wall cracking) in 3509 reactor-years, all in stainless steel piping with diameter less than 25 cm. Several types of data analysis show that the frequency of leak events (events per reactor-year) is increasing with plant age, and the increase is statistically significant. When an exponential trend model is assumed, the leak frequency is estimated to double every 8 years of reactor age, although this result should not be extrapolated to plants much older than 25 years. Difficulties in arresting this increase include lack of quantitative understanding of the phenomena causing thermal fatigue, lack of understanding of crack growth, and difficulty in detecting existing cracks.

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71 Kilobytes pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00010169

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  • ESREL '99 - European Safety and Reliability Conference, Munich (DE), 09/13/1999--09/17/1999

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  • Report No.: INEEL/CON-99-00320
  • Grant Number: AC07-94ID13223
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 10169
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623584

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • September 1, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • July 19, 2016, 12:06 p.m.

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Atwood, C. L.; Shah, V. N. & Galyean, W. J. Analysis of Pressurized Water Reactor Primary Coolant Leak Events Caused by Thermal Fatigue, article, September 1, 1999; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623584/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.