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Reference Number EP/M019446/1
Title Advanced structural analysis for the UK nuclear renaissance
Status Completed
Energy Categories NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr H E Coules
No email address given
Mechanical Engineering
University of Bristol
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 30 November 2015
End Date 29 November 2018
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £289,499
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region South West
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr H E Coules , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Nuclear power reactors contain large steel pressure vessels and high-pressure pipework which must be carefully designed and regularly inspected when they are service to guarantee safety. When a reactor is operating, these systems are loaded not just by internal pressure, but also by thermal stresses which arise from temperature gradients, and by residual stresses which are 'locked-in' during construction. Thermal and residual stresses are often termed 'secondary' stresses and they are generally more difficult to measure and predict than the stresses which result from directly applied forces. Often, this means that parts which are in fact safe are pre-emptively taken out of service due to secondary stress concerns, incurring large costs in addition to plant downtime. In this project, new techniques will be developed to accurately predict how complex and multi-axial secondary stresses in components behave as they are further stressed in-service. This will require the development of a generalised mathematical framework to describe multi-axial stress relaxation, along with new computational methods to enable the analysis of complicated real-world structures. The predictive accuracy of the new analysis techniques will be tested in a series of experiments using neutron and synchrotron diffraction to observe how residual stresses deep inside metallic components change as they are subjected to changing external loads. The analysis techniques developed during this project will be integrated with existing structural integrity assessment procedures, allowing them to be readily used in industry, and leading to cheaper and more reliable power plants
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 05/01/16