In Situ Nondestructive Examination Method for Characterization of Material Damage in Nuclear Power Plant Components
Source: Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
Date: 11/1/95    Record No.: 10267
Contact: V.N. Shah, 208-526-8639; D.W. Akers, 208-526-6118

In Situ Nondestructive Examination Method for Characterization of Mate...
Possible breakthru--In situ NDE of Nuclear components, applicable to fossil also.

INEL is developing a unique application of a nondestructive examination method for aging assessment and life extension of nuclear power plant primary pressure boundary components. A specific application is being developed for direct in situ measurements of fatigue damage in the components without knowing the prior operational history. The initial laboratory results show that this method can estimate fatigue damage ranging from a few percent to about 60 to 80 percent of the fatigue life.

Now expanding the scope of this application to in situ estimate of radiation embrittlement damage in the pressure vessel steel materials (base metal, weld, heat affected zone) and of radiation damage in the stainless steel and Alloy 600 vessel internals. What do we need from utilities?
Seeking cooperative research and development agreements with nuclear power plant utilities for performing measurements to validate the capabilities and limitations of this application. The measurements would also help to establish the correlations between the measurements and the mechanical properties of the irradiated pressure vessel materials. Specific measurements to be performed include the following:
1. In situ measurements of fatigue damage in the light water reactor primary pressure boundary components, including primary coolant piping, surge and spray line, other branch lines in PWR plants, and feedwater piping and nozzles in BWR plants.
2. In situ measurements of radiation embrittlement damage at the outside surface of reactor pressure vessel.
3. Measurements of radiation embrittlement damage in the surveillance capsules. These measurements will be correlated with the available measured data from the utility for reference nil-ductility transition temperature, Charpy upper shelf energy, and fracture toughness.

ALSO APPLIES TO NON-IRRADIATED COMPONENTS and therefore is a candidate for evaluating anything on a fossil plant. Many of you identified a major concern with high-energy steam piping--maybe we really have something here if it checks out.