Increase of nuclear installations safety by better understanding of materials performance and new testing techniques development (MEACTOS, INCEFA-SCALE, and FRACTESUS H2020 projects)

Tomasz Brynk, Francisco-Javier Perosanz, Alec McLennan

    Research outputpeer-review


    Research to better understand the phenomena influencing materials and components' performance is important for increasing the safety of Generation II and III nuclear plants. A crucial step for improving nuclear safety is the development of new experimental techniques that can provide the necessary data. The three H2020 projects presented in this paper, MEACTOS (2017{2022), INCEFA-SCALE (2020{2025), and FRACTESUS (2020{2024), cover the steps needed to realize those safety improvements. The goal of the MEACTOS project is to improve the resistance of critical locations, including welds, to environmentally-assisted cracking through optimizing surface machining and treatments. The project is currently in its final stage, and the complete analysis of the data is finished. The objective of INCEFA-SCALE is to improve predictions of component fatigue lifetime when subjected to Environmentally-Assisted Fatigue (EAF). The strategy consists of producing guidance on how to appropriately accommodate variable amplitude and plant-relevant loading in EAF assessments. Increasing the understanding of the EAF mechanism based on substantial testing, characterization, and analysis program will support the INCEFA-SCALE strategy. The FRACTESUS project will validate the use of miniaturized compact tension specimens by comparing the results of master curve-oriented fracture toughness tests performed with small and large specimens. The round-robin exercises will use irradiated and non-irradiated Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) materials. The material selection process is complete in time for the project to enter the testing phase. The output of the project will be beneficial from a long-term operation perspective and a saving in the material amount needed for RPV surveillance programs. Even though each project is devoted to different research areas, common aspects are clearly visible. All three projects investigate phenomena that are relevant to the performance and safe operation of the nuclear plant. Moreover, each project will provide valuable databases and analyses of test results for materials relevant to components in the nuclear plant. The output of these projects will be of great value to the nuclear industry. This paper presents the current progress for each project, emphasizing the common research domains between the projects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2022033
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalEPJ N - Nuclear Sciences and Technologies
    Issue number42
    StatePublished - 3 Oct 2022

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