United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Weld Residual Stress Finite Element Analysis Validation: Part 1 – Data Development Effort (NUREG-2162)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2014
Date Published:
March 2014

Prepared by:
Michael Benson, David Rudland, and Aladar Csontos

Michael Benson, NRC Project Manager

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

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Abstract

This report is aimed at prediction of weld residual stress (WRS) in safety-related nuclear components. WRS is a significant driving force for primary water stress corrosion cracking. As such, it is an important input to deterministic and probabilistic flaw growth calculations. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s objectives for this work include:

  • Validate axisymmetric finite element modeling as a predictive tool for WRS, using robust experimental methods.
  • Support the development of appropriate WRS/flaw evaluation review guidelines.
  • Perform independent confirmatory research on industry guidance for executing WRS analysis.
  • Assess and evaluate the adequacy of industry’s mitigation activities where WRS minimization is necessary.
  • Improve WRS finite element analysis predictive methodologies.
  • Determine estimates for WRS uncertainty distributions, which are needed in probabilistic analyses.

This report describes WRS measurement methods and finite element modeling techniques for predicting WRS. The measurement and modeling efforts were performed on both small-scale scientific specimens and on large-scale prototypic mockups of in-service nuclear plant components. For example, Chapter 4 describes results from a double-blind finite element round robin, where international participants completed finite element models of a prototype pressurizer surge nozzle without access to the measurement data. Validation criteria for WRS models will be developed in future research efforts.

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