Appendix H to Part 50—Reactor Vessel Material Surveillance Program Requirements
- Surveillance Program Criteria
- Report of Test Results
The purpose of the material surveillance program required by this appendix is to monitor changes in the fracture toughness properties of ferritic materials in the reactor vessel beltline region of light water nuclear power reactors which result from exposure of these materials to neutron irradiation and the thermal environment. Under the program, fracture toughness test data are obtained from material specimens exposed in surveillance capsules, which are withdrawn periodically from the reactor vessel. These data will be used as described in Section IV of Appendix G to Part 50.
ASTM E 185–73, "Standard Recommended Practice for Surveillance Tests for Nuclear Reactor Vessels"; ASTM E 185–79, "Standard Practice for Conducting Surveillance Tests for Light-Water Cooled Nuclear Power Reactor Vessels"; and ASTM E 185–82, "Standard Practice for Conducting Surveillance Tests for Light-Water Cooled Nuclear Power Reactor Vessels"; which are referenced in the following paragraphs, have been approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Federal Register. Copies of ASTM E 185–73,–79, and–82, may be purchased from the American Society for Testing and Materials, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 and are available for inspection at the NRC Library, 11545 Rockville Pike, Two White Flint North, Rockville, MD 20852-2738.
All terms used in this Appendix have the same meaning as in Appendix G.
III. Surveillance Program Criteria
A. No material surveillance program is required for reactor vessels for which it can be conservatively demonstrated by analytical methods applied to experimental data and tests performed on comparable vessels, making appropriate allowances for all uncertainties in the measurements, that the peak neutron fluence at the end of the design life of the vessel will not exceed 1017 n/cm2 (E 1 MeV).
B. Reactor vessels that do not meet the conditions of paragraph III.A of this appendix must have their beltline materials monitored by a surveillance program complying with ASTM E 185, as modified by this appendix.
1. The design of the surveillance program and the withdrawal schedule must meet the requirements of the edition of the ASTM E 185 that is current on the issue date of the ASME code to which the reactor vessel was purchased; for reactor vessels purchased after 1982, the design of the surveillance program and the withdrawal schedule must meet the requirements of ASTM E 185–82. For reactor vessels purchased in or before 1982, later editions of ASTM E 185 may be used, but including only those editions through 1982. For each capsule withdrawal, the test procedures and reporting requirements must meet the requirements of the ASTM E 185 to the extent practicable for the configuration of the specimens in the capsule. If any of the optional provisions in paragraphs III.B.4(a) through (d) of this section are implemented in lieu of ASTM E 185, the number of specimens included or tested in the surveillance program shall be adjusted as specified in paragraphs III.B.4(a) through (d) of this section.
2. Surveillance specimen capsules must be located near the inside vessel wall in the beltline region so that the specimen irradiation history duplicates, to the extent practicable within the physical constraints of the system, the neutron spectrum, temperature history, and maximum neutron fluence experienced by the reactor vessel inner surface. If the capsule holders are attached to the vessel wall or to the vessel cladding, construction and inservice inspection of the attachments and attachment welds must be done according to the requirements for permanent structural attachments to reactor vessels given in Sections III and XI of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (ASME Code). The design and location of the capsule holders must permit insertion of replacement capsules. Accelerated irradiation capsules may be used in addition to the required number of surveillance capsules.
3. A proposed withdrawal schedule must be submitted with a technical justification as specified in § 50.4. The proposed schedule must be approved prior to implementation.
4. Optional provisions. As used in this section, references to ASTM E 185 include the edition of ASTM E 185 that is current on the issue date of the ASME Code to which the reactor vessel was purchased through the 1982 edition.
(a) First Provision: Heat-Affected Zone Specimens—The inclusion or testing of weld heat-affected zone Charpy impact specimens within the surveillance program as specified in ASTM E 185 is optional.
(b) Second Provision: Tension Specimens—If this provision is implemented, the minimum number of tension specimens to be included and tested in the surveillance program shall be as specified in paragraphs III.B.4(b)(i) and (ii) of this section.
(i) Unirradiated Tension Specimens—Two tension specimens from each base and weld material required by ASTM E 185 shall be tested, with one specimen tested at room temperature and the other specimen tested at the service temperature; and
(ii) Irradiated Tension Specimens—Two tension specimens from each base and weld material required by ASTM E 185 shall be included in each surveillance capsule and tested, with one specimen tested at room temperature and the other specimen tested at the service temperature.
(c) Third Provision: Correlation Monitor Materials—The testing of correlation monitor material specimens within the surveillance program as specified in ASTM E 185 is optional.
(d) Fourth Provision: Thermal Monitor— The inclusion or examination of thermal monitors within the surveillance program as specified in ASTM E 185 is optional.
C. Requirements for an Integrated Surveillance Program.
1. In an integrated surveillance program, the representative materials chosen for surveillance for a reactor are irradiated in one or more other reactors that have similar design and operating features. Integrated surveillance programs must be approved by the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, on a case-by-case basis. Criteria for approval include the following:
a. The reactor in which the materials will be irradiated and the reactor for which the materials are being irradiated must have sufficiently similar design and operating features to permit accurate comparisons of the predicted amount of radiation damage.
b. Each reactor must have an adequate dosimetry program.
c. There must be adequate arrangement for data sharing between plants.
d. There must be a contingency plan to assure that the surveillance program for each reactor will not be jeopardized by operation at reduced power level or by an extended outage of another reactor from which data are expected.
e. There must be substantial advantages to be gained, such as reduced power outages or reduced personnel exposure to radiation, as a direct result of not requiring surveillance capsules in all reactors in the set.
2. No reduction in the requirements for number of materials to be irradiated, specimen types, or number of specimens per reactor is permitted.
3. After (the effective date of this section), no reduction in the amount of testing is permitted unless previously authorized by the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
IV. Report of Test Results
A. Each capsule withdrawal and the test results must be the subject of a summary technical report to be submitted, as specified in § 50.4, within eighteen months of the date of capsule withdrawal, unless an extension is granted by the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
B. The report must include the data required by ASTM E 185, as specified in paragraph III.B.1 of this appendix, and the results of all fracture toughness tests conducted on the beltline materials in the irradiated and unirradiated conditions.
C. If a change in the Technical Specifications is required, either in the pressure-temperature limits or in the operating procedures required to meet the limits, the expected date for submittal of the revised Technical Specifications must be provided with the report.
[60 FR 65476, Dec. 19, 1995; 68 FR 75390, Dec. 31, 2003; 73 FR 5723, Jan. 31, 2008; 84 FR 65644, Nov. 29, 2019; 85 FR 62207; Oct. 2, 2020]
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