Hybrid Monte Carlo Deterministic and Probabilistic Core Assessment for Flaws and Leak-Before-Break for CANDU® Reactors
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance - 2011 December 04-06

Presented at:
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance
2011 December 04-06
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
Inspection Tools Session B3

Dennis Kazimer (Bruce Power)
Pascal Zulow (Kinectrics Inc.)
Aaron Kratt (Kinectrics Inc.)
Simon Berube (Kinectrics Inc.)
Anthony Hamilton (Kinectrics Inc.)
Kevin J. Maynard (Kinectrics Inc.)


Even though pressure tubes are major components of a CANDU reactor, only small proportions of pressure tubes are sampled for in-service inspections due to execution cost, outage duration, and site cumulative radiation exposure limits. In general, a realistic core assessment was not carried out based on all known information related to in-service degradation mechanisms. Recently, a hybrid deterministic and probabilistic core assessment (HDPCA) has been introduced to address the uncertainties associated with uninspected pressure tubes and diverse degradation mechanisms.

In the present paper, the HDPCA was carried out for a CANDU unit based on cumulative operating experience and history in order to satisfy the requirements of Clause 7 of CSA Standard N285.8 by considering the uncertainties associated with the estimated distribution parameters, the limited inspected data, and pressure tube properties. The HDPCA is composed of two parts: a simulation part and a deterministic evaluation part. The outcome of the core assessment is the expected pressure tube failure frequency due to pressure tube flaws. 

In the simulations, pressure tube material properties were sampled from distributions derived from material surveillance and testing programs. The flaw dimensions and intensities were sampled from distributions fitted to in-service inspection data. The pressure tubes were then populated with flaws. Each simulated flaw was evaluated for DHC initiation under constant loading conditions. When Delayed Hydride Cracking initiation from a flaw was predicted, the pressure tube was evaluated for rupture in the Leak-Before-Break evaluation.  Based on all the predicted pressure tube ruptures from simulations, the failure frequency was calculated on an annual basis. The largest expected mean and the 95% upper bound of the mean failure frequencies for any evaluation subinterval to the end of pressure tube design life of 210,000 EFPH are significantly below the allowable failure frequency limits in Table C.1 of CSA Standard N285.8.

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