RevistaEngineering Failure Analysis
Año de publicación2010
Analysis of dynamic conditions during thermal transient events for the structural assessment of a nuclear vesselFerreño Blanco, Diego | Lacalle Calderón, Roberto | Iñaki Gorrochategui | Gutiérrez-Solana Salcedo, Federico |
The possibility of dynamic loading conditions in a reactor pressure vessel (RPV) has been investigated in this paper. For this purpose, finite element (FE) numerical simulations of several thermal transients were performed including a normal shut down and two accidental thermal shocks, namely a loss of coolant accident (LOCA) and an extreme postulated pressurised thermal shock (PTS). The aim of the present contribution is to evaluate the influence of the loading rate on the fracture properties of the vessel steel of the Santa María de Garoña Spanish nuclear power plant (NPP) in the ductile to brittle transition (DBT) region. To describe the fracture behaviour of the steel in the DBT region, the master curve (MC) reference temperature, T0, was used. This temperature is normally used for quasi-static conditions; however, it has been recently extended to the determination of dynamic fracture toughness by means of a phenomenological model proposed by Wallin. The dynamic reference temperature, T0,dyn, was obtained for the loading rates corresponding to the three studied situations numerically simulated and compared with the quasi-static reference temperature, T0,sta. From these results, conclusions about the importance of loading rates in nuclear vessels were established.