United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Ultrasonic Phased Array Assessment of the Interference Fit and Leak Path of the North Anna Unit 2 Control Rod Drive Mechanism Nozzle 63 with Destructive Validation (NUREG/CR-7142, PNNL-21547)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: July 2012
Date Published: August 2012

Prepared by:
S. L. Crawford, A. D. Cinson, P. J. MacFarlan,
B. D. Hanson, R. A. Mathews

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
P.O. Box 999
Richland, WA 99352

G. Oberson, NRC Project Manager

NRC Job Code N6783

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasonic testing (UT) for primary water leak path assessments of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) upper head penetrations. Operating reactors have experienced leakage when stress corrosion cracking of nickel-based alloy penetrations allowed primary water into the annulus of the interference fit between the penetration and the low-alloy steel RPV head. In this investigation, UT leak path data were acquired for an Alloy 600 control rod drive mechanism nozzle penetration, referred to as Nozzle 63, which was removed from the North Anna Unit 2 reactor when the RPV head was replaced in 2002. In-service inspection prior to the head replacement indicated that Nozzle 63 had a probable leakage path through the interference fit region. Nozzle 63 was examined using a phased-array UT probe with a 5.0-MHz, eight-element annular array. Immersion data were acquired from the nozzle inner diameter surface. The UT data were interpreted by comparing to responses measured on a mockup penetration with known features. Following acquisition of the UT data, Nozzle 63 was destructively examined to determine if the features identified in the UT examination, including leakage paths and crystalline boric acid deposits, could be visually confirmed. Additional measurements of boric acid deposit thickness and low-alloy steel wastage were made to assess how these factors affect the UT response. The implications of these findings for interpreting UT leak path data are described.

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