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Title: Evaluation on the Feasibility of Using Ultrasonic Testing of Reactor Pressure Vessel Welds for Assessing Flaw Density/Distribution per 10 CFR 50.61a, Alternate Fracture Toughness Requirements for Protection Against Pressurized Thermal Shock

This technical letter report provides the status of an assessment undertaken by PNNL at the request of the NRC to verify the capability of periodic ASME-required volumetric examinations of reactor vessels to characterize the density and distribution of flaws of interest for applying §50.61a on a plant-by-plant basis. The PTS rule, described in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Section 50.61 (§50.61), "Fracture Toughness Requirements for Protection against Pressurized Thermal Shock Events," establishes screening criteria to ensure that the potential for a reactor vessel to fail due to a PTS event is deemed to be acceptably low. Recently, the NRC completed a research program that concluded that the risk of through-wall cracking due to a PTS event is much lower than previously estimated. The NRC subsequently developed and promulgated an alternate PTS rule, §50.61a, that can be implemented by PWR licensees. The §50.61a rule differs from §50.61 in that it requires licensees who choose to follow this alternate method to analyze the results from periodic volumetric examinations required by the ASME Code, Section XI, Rules for Inservice Inspection (ISI) of Nuclear Power Plants.
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
PTS; pressurized thermal shock; alternate PTS rule