Keywords: RPV, reactor pressure vessels, radiation damage, neutron fluence, environmental factors, WWER reactors, nuclear power plants, NPP, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, safety assessment, nuclear knowledge management, gamma rays, irradiation, nondestructive evaluation, NDE, cladding, structural integrity
Environmental factors influence on RPV
Review of the results of research in the last decade on the influence of environmental factors on the materials of Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPV) of Russian WWER type of power reactors is presented. The reviewed papers are collected and electronically stored in a nuclear database ODIN.JRC.NL dedicated to knowledge preservation and consolidation. The open issues allow identifying future research activities needed in the area. The way of influence of the environmental factors as neutron fluence, neutron fluence rate, gamma rays and temperature, and their contribution on measured effects is summarised. The investigations attempt to fit an empirical presentation of the factors' dependence. The radiation field parameters are used for non-destructive evaluation of the radiation damage of reactor vessel and its internals and claddings, and therefore for planning ways for improving both operation and plant life extension. Harmonisation of calculation and measurement methods for use in WWER, PWR and BWR design and structural integrity assessments will help to maintain reliable and verified knowledge.