This paper presents an overview of added features in a new version of the FAVOR (Fracture Analysis of Vessels Oak Ridge) computer code called FAVOR-OCI. The original FAVOR code was developed at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) under the sponsorship of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). FAVOR is applied by US and international nuclear power industries to perform deterministic and probabilistic fracture mechanics analyses of commercial nuclear reactor pressure vessels (RPVs). Applications of FAVOR are focused on insuring that the structural integrity of aging, and increasingly embrittled, RPVs is maintained throughout their licensed service life. Based on the final ORNL release of FAVOR, v16.1, FAVOR-OCI extends existing deterministic features of FAVOR while preserving all previously-existing probabilistic capabilities of FAVOR.
The objective of this paper is to describe new deterministic features in FAVOR-OCI that can be applied to analytical evaluations of planar flaws. These evaluations are consistent with the acceptance criteria of ASME Code, Section XI, Article IWB-3610, including Subarticles IWB-3611 (acceptance based on flaw size) and IWB-3612 (acceptance based on applied stress intensity factor). The linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) capabilities of FAVOR-OCI also incorporate the analytical procedures presented in the Nonmandatory Appendix A, Analysis of Flaws, Article A-3000, Method of KI Determination, for both surface and subsurface (embedded) flaws.
The paper describes a computational methodology for determining critical values of fracture-related parameters that satisfy ASME Code Section XI acceptance criteria for flaws exposed to multiple thermal-hydraulic transients. These compute-intensive analyses can be carried out with a single execution of FAVOR-OCI. The new methodology determines critical values by solving for either the point of tangency or point of intersection between applied KI versus time histories and a user-selected cleavage initiation toughness material property (e.g., ASME KIc, FAVOR Weibull KIc, or Master Curve Weibull KJc) for surface or subsurface flaws. Situations where warm prestress conditions apply can also be addressed. The paper highlights a need for this new capability via applications to a recent independent review of safety cases for RPVs in two Belgian nuclear power plants (NPPs). That review required ASME Section XI assessments of several thousand embedded, quasi-laminar flaws in the wall of each RPV Analysis results provided by the new capability contributed to the technical bases compiled from several sources by the Belgian nuclear regulatory agency (FANC) and eventually used by FANC to justify the restart of these NPPs.