Abstract

The toughness requirements for the ferritic steels used to construct the primary pressure boundary of a nuclear power plant include both transition temperature metrics as well as upper-shelf metrics. These separate specifications for transition and upper shelf toughness find their origins in decisions made during the 1970s and 1980s, a time when there was much less empirical and theoretical knowledge concerning the relationship between these quantities. Currently, significant evidence exists to demonstrate a systematic relationship between transition and upper shelf toughness metrics for RPV-grade steels and weldments (e.g., the equations in draft Code Case N-830-1, empirical correlation between Charpy transition temperature and upper shelf metrics, etc.). This paper explores these relationships and demonstrates that, in many cases, the joint specification of transition temperature and upper shelf toughness values is redundant and, therefore, unnecessary.

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