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Charles Becht V is a mechanical and nuclear senior engineer with expertise in FEA and thermohydraulics modeling and analysis. His experience ranges from developing new designs meeting code requirements, failure investigation and repair, and FFS assessments. In the hydraulic area, his work includes the study of NRC issues related to entrapped gases ...in liquid lines, for which he developed hydraulics models and analysis of the effects of pump start-up, and two-phase transients. In the stress area, Mr. Becht's work includes the investigation of the failure of one of the largest mobile cranes in the United States, developing the structural model for the crane failure which was benchmarked against observations of the event. In addition Mr. Becht has worked on several rehabilitation projects on furnaces damaged by over pressure events. Responsibilities for the furnace repair have included oversight of field personnel, development of structural reinforcement, and analysis of the completed repairs. Fitness for Service analyses included analyzing both degraded structures and improperly fabricated structures, including buried cooling water pipe in nuclear facilities and large shiploader structures exposed to salt spray and sulfurous coke. Mr. Becht received his Masters of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University.     More

Do I Have to Replace My Bulged Pressure Vessel?

Figure1-Bulged_Shape_of_Vessel-cover Need to replace bulged pressure vessel?
There are a variety of conditions an in-service component (e.g. vessel, tank, piping) can be found in.  The purpose of Fitness-for-Service (FFS) is to evaluate the integrity of an in-service component given a certain degraded condition and rate it for future service considering potential for any additional degradation.  A degraded condition does not have to just be based on corrosion. Sometimes a component can experience a large deformation due to unexpected one-time loads resulting in stresses greater than yield.  When such a large deformation event occurs it is important to inspect the vessel to make sure no cracking occurred during the deformation event.  If it is found that the impacted area is defect-free then the next step is to determine if the component can operate in the deformed shape. One example of a non-corrosion related degraded condition is a bulged tank.  Figure 1 shows an example of a tank that...
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Introduction to LOCA Blowdown Loads on Reactor Internals and Fluid-Structure Interaction

Introduction to LOCA Blowdown Loads on Reactor Internals
and Fluid-Structure Interaction
Design of a Nuclear Power Plant for a LOCA Nuclear power plants are designed with the capability to safely shut-down following a number of hypothetical accident scenarios. One of those accidents is the rupture of a pipe in the reactor coolant system (RCS). Such a rupture would result in a loss of coolant accident (LOCA), which would challenge the plant in three ways: The pressurized cooling water, as it discharges from the break, will flash to steam. This would cause a harsh, hot, humid environment that will challenge the structures, systems, and components (SSCs) in the reactor building. The LOCA would cause the water from the broken pipe to discharge into the building instead of reaching the reactor core. This is why the RCS has redundant reactor coolant loops (RCL), and have the capability to inject additional coolant through the emergency core cooling system (ECCS). So, the ECCS is sized...
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Use of Fracture Mechanics for Fatigue Design

While fracture mechanics is used in fitness-for-service, FFS, for evaluation of crack like flaws that are detected and for evaluation of the potential for brittle fracture, it is also used in new design to evaluate fatigue life. The rules for high pressure vessels in Section VIII, Div 3 and ASME B31.3 Chapter X permit and sometimes require the use of fracture mechanics to evaluate the fatigue life of pressure vessels and piping. The fatigue evaluation starts with the smallest detectable flaw that could remain in the equipment after the specified examinations are performed. The growth of this postulated flaw is simulated via fracture mechanics until the flaw reaches the critical crack size or reaches a FAD failure. The allowable number of design cycles is then the lesser of: the number of cycles required to reach 20 years, to reach 1/4 critical crack size, or half the number to reach the...
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