Development of Web-Based Fatigue Life Evaluation System for Reactor Pressure Vessel
While the demand on electric power is consistently increasing, public concerns and regulations for the construction of new nuclear power plants are getting restrict, and also operating nuclear power plants are gradually ageing. For this reason, the interest on lifetime extension for operating nuclear power plants by applying lifetime management system is increasing. The 40-year design life concept was originally introduced on the basis of economic and safety considerations. In other words, it was not determined by technological evaluations. Also, the transient design data which were applied for fatigue damage evaluation were overly conservative in comparison with actual transient data. Therefore, the accumulation of fatigue damage may result in a big difference between the actual data and the design data. The lifetime of nuclear power plants is mostly dependent on the fatigue life of a reactor pressure vessel, and thus, the exact evaluation of fatigue life on a reactor pressure vessel is a crucial factor in determining the extension of operating life. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a real-time fatigue monitoring system for an operating reactor pressure vessel which can be used for the lifetime extension. In order to satisfy the objectives, a web-based transient acquisition system was developed, thereby, real-time thermal-hydraulic data were reserved for 18 operating reactor pressure vessels. A series of finite element analyses was carried out to obtain the stress data due to actual transient. The fatigue life evaluation has been performed based on the stress analysis results and, finally, a web-based fatigue life evaluation system was introduced by combining analysis results and on-line monitoring system. Comparison of the stress analysis results between operating transients and design transients showed a considerable amount of benefits in terms of fatigue life. Therefore, it is anticipated that the developed web-based system can be utilized as an efficient tool for fatigue life estimation of reactor pressure vessel.
J.C. Kim et al., "Development of Web-Based Fatigue Life Evaluation System for Reactor Pressure Vessel", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 120, pp. 25-30, 2007