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Report No.
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Constraint effect on fracture mechanics evaluation for an under-clad crack in a reactor pressure vessel steel

Shimodaira, Masaki ; Tobita, Toru; Takamizawa, Hisashi ; Katsuyama, Jinya ; Hanawa, Satoshi 

In JEAC 4206 which prescribes the methodology for assessing the structural integrity of reactor pressure vessels (RPVs), an under-clad crack (UCC) at the inner surface of RPV is postulated, and it is required that the fracture toughness of RPV steels is higher than stress intensity factor for at the crack tip during the pressurized thermal shock event. In the present study, to investigate the effect of cladding on the fracture toughness, we performed three-point bending fracture toughness tests and finite element analyses (FEAs) for an RPV steel containing an UCC or a surface crack, and the constraint effect for UCC was also discussed. As the result, we found that the fracture toughness for UCC was considerably higher than that for surface crack. On the other hand, the FEAs showed that the cladding decreased the constraint effect for UCC.

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