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Degradation of Material Properties Significant for Lifetime Extension of Nuclear Power Plants

Schwächung der Materialeigenschaften, die für die Laufzeitverlängerung von Kernkraftwerken von Bedeutung sind
Anton Erhard and Frank Otremba
From the journal Materials Testing

Abstract

The discussion about the right energy sources or alternative energy generation goes around the world, mostly in connection with greenhouse gas reduction. Therefore, some countries have started to consider extending operation of nuclear power plants. This demands an extensive plant life management as well as the knowledge of the degradation in material properties. The Basis Safety Concept (BSC) in Germany observed this circumstance. Still, lifetime extension is not an issue in Germany due to phase out of nuclear energy. Part of the BSC is the application of non-destructive examination (NDE) methods from the beginning, i.e. from component manufacture, to the end of life. The application of a NDE method to detect and size defects in components in nuclear power plants is presented. Some material properties and their degradation during increase of operation time are also in the focus of this paper.

Kurzfassung

Mit welchen Energiequellen in der Zukunft der Energiebedarf abgedeckt werden soll, wird rund um die Welt, meist im Zusammenhang mit der globalen Erwärmung und der Vermeidung von Gasen, wie z. B. Kohlendioxid, diskutiert. Aus diesem Grund haben einige Länder seit geraumer Zeit damit begonnen, die Laufzeiten ihrer Kernkraftwerke zu verlängern. Ein umfassendes Lebensdauermanagementsystem sowie die Kenntnis des Beanspruchungszustandes der Komponenten verbunden mit den Schädigungsmechanismen sind dafür die Voraussetzung. Das sogenannte Basissicherheitskonzept (BSK), wie es in Deutschland angewandt wird, berücksichtigt diesen Sachverhalt. Unabhängig davon, sind Laufzeitverlängerungen in Deutschland, aufgrund des Abkommens vom Juni 2000 zwischen der Regierung und den Energieversorgungsunternehmen zum Atomausstieg, kein Thema. Dieser sogenannte Atomkonsens wurde im Dezember 2001 in der Neufassung des Atomgesetzes verankert. Die zerstörungsfreie Prüfung (zfP) ist im BSK eine feste Größe, angefangen bei der Komponentenfertigung bis letztendlich zum endgültigen Stillstand des Kraftwerkes. Der vorliegende Beitrag zeigt an einem Beispiel den Einsatz der zfP für den Fehlernachweis (Detektion) und dessen Größenbestimmung (Sizing). Des Weiteren werden Schädigungsmechanismen, die relevant für den eingesetzten Werkstoff sind, vorgestellt.


Dr. Anton Erhard, born in 1950, studies material science with special emphasis on metal physics at the Technical University of Berlin. He is head of the Department III “Containment Systems for Dangerous Goods” at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin, and has more than 30 years experiences in developing and application of ultrasonic non-destructive testing methods. He published approximately 250 papers. In 1984, he received the Berthold Award from the German Society of Nondestructive Testing (DGZfP), and in 1985, the Achievement Award from the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). He is a member of the German Reactor Safety Commission (RSK) as well as chairman of the German Commission for Transportation of Dangerous Goods (AGGB).

Dr. Frank Otremba (1961) is head of the Division III.1 “Dangerous Goods Packaging” at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin. After earning his PhD in the area of Numerical Methods and Fracture Mechanics at university of Rostock, he joined the utility HEW, the university of Stuttgart, and the Nuclear Power Station Brunsbüttel, before starting his current position in 2007. He has more than 18 years of experience in the nuclear field and published approximately 50 papers. He is a member of the German Reactor Safety Commission subgroup “Materials and Pressurized Components”.


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Published Online: 2013-05-28
Published in Print: 2010-02-01

© 2010, Carl Hanser Verlag, München