A numerical fracture mechanics tool to help assess the structural integrity of nuclear power plant components

Chris Timbrell, Ramesh Chandwani, Angelo Maligno, Zentech International Ltd.
Charly Ma, Consys Company Limited

ISSI 2011 - Structural Integrity in Nuclear Engineering, Heifei, China, Oct 27-30 2011

Many nuclear power plant facilities have been operating for longer than twenty years. Along with ageing of structural materials come other issues, such as creep and corrosion, which can impact upon plant safety and the integrity of the primary circuit. Plant lifetime extension and continued safe and economic operation depends on ageing and lifetime management. To be effective, this requires an understanding of how safety may be maintained as components degrade over extended time periods under operational conditions. Potential structural integrity issues for future generation IV reactors are also paramount to further develop the nuclear industry. This paper describes some aspects of the numerical analysis tool, Zencrack, which can assist in crack growth prediction and fitness for service investigations for a range of nuclear power plant applications.