In Korea, a fitness-for service evaluation for assuring structural integrity of high strength anchor bolts which support nuclear components such as steam generator and reactor coolant pump, has been one of the important issues in nuclear industry. The main failure mechanism of high strength anchor bolts supporting nuclear components might be degradation due to stress corrosion cracking and brittle fracture. In the present work, the structural integrity of high strength anchor bolts which are used to support steam generator and reactor coolant pump of one of the Korean older vintage nuclear power plants is evaluated by adopting a procedure proposed by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) based on an elastic fracture mechanics concept. In this EPRI’s procedure, an accurate estimation of nominal stress acting on the cross section of the bolt is a crucial element since a structural integrity of an anchor bolt is evaluated in the EPRI’s procedure using this nominal stress incorporating reference flaw factors reflecting effects of stress concentration due to bolt thread and reference sized surface crack. In this context, detailed elastic finite element stress analyses are firstly performed on the anchor bolt assemblies to come up with nominal stress in the cross-section of anchor bolt. As for loading condition, bolt pretention as well as normal and faulted loads of the anchor bolts were considered. In addition, the structural integrity of the anchor bolts is demonstrated by comparing nominal stresses of anchor bolts with the maximum allowable stresses obtained by using the EPRI’s reference flaw factors and critical fracture toughness. Furthermore, the accuracy of EPRI’s reference flaw factors which are derived on the assumption that reference sized surface crack is existed on the thread roots is investigated using 3-dimensional elastic finite element fracture mechanics analyses.

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