INcreasing safety in Nuclear Power Plants by Covering gaps in Environmental Fatigue Assessments
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ABSTRACT: The project is divided in two main parts. The first is focused on the characterization of a limited selection of typical austenitic stainless steel alloys employed in NPPs, testing for the effects of mean stress/strain, hold time periods and material surface finish on fatigue endurance. Sensitivities to these three parameters will be mainly tested in LWR environments. Tests in air for all types of specimen are restricted to only those necessary to cross reference the LWR results with the data already available for fatigue endurance in air and forming the majority of data used to underpin existing guidance (NUREG/CR-6909). The three experimental parameters were selected as common priorities by the proposed collaborators based on an in-kind project through which a description of the current state-of-the-art for this technical area was developed. The second part of this project involves the development of a modified or new procedure for estimating the fatigue degradation of the materials based on the experimental results of the first part of the project. This methodology is supposed to take better account of the effects of mean stress/strain, hold time and surface finish. This will enable better management of nuclear components, making possible the LTO of NPPs under safer conditions.