Recent data indicate that the effects of light water reactor environments can significantly reduce the fatigue resistance of materials, and show that design fatigue curves may not be conservative for reactor coolant environments. Using revised fatigue curves developed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the work of this paper calculates the expected probabilities of fatigue failures and associated core damage frequencies at a 40-year and 60-year plant life for a sample of components from five PWR and two BWR plants. These calculations were made possible by the development of an enhanced version of the pc-PRAISE probabilistic fracture mechanics code that has the ability to simulate the initiation of fatigue cracks followed by the linking of these cracks. Results of interim calculations subject to review are presented. Components with the highest probabilities of failure can have predicted frequencies of through-wall cracks in the order of about 5 × 10-2 per year. The corresponding maximum contributions to core damage frequencies are in the order of 10-6 per year. Components with the very high failure rates show essentially no increase in calculated core damage frequency from 40 to 60 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality