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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2011, Article ID 840734, 7 pages
Research Article

Integrated Software Environment for Pressurized Thermal Shock Analysis

1Department of Mechanical Nuclear and Production Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Livornese 1291, San Piero a Grado, 56126 Pisa, Italy
2Nucleoeléctrica Argentina S.A. (NA-SA), Arribeños 3619, 1429 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 8 September 2010; Accepted 23 November 2010

Academic Editor: Juan Pablo Ordonez

Copyright © 2011 Dino Araneo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present paper describes the main features and an application to a real Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) of an Integrated Software Environment (in the following referred to as “platform”) developed at University of Pisa (UNIPI) to perform Pressurized Thermal Shock (PTS) analysis. The platform is written in Java for the portability and it implements all the steps foreseen in the methodology developed at UNIPI for the deterministic analysis of PTS scenarios. The methodology starts with the thermal hydraulic analysis of the NPP with a system code (such as Relap5-3D and Cathare2), during a selected transient scenario. The results so obtained are then processed to provide boundary conditions for the next step, that is, a CFD calculation. Once the system pressure and the RPV wall temperature are known, the stresses inside the RPV wall can be calculated by mean a Finite Element (FE) code. The last step of the methodology is the Fracture Mechanics (FM) analysis, using weight functions, aimed at evaluating the stress intensity factor (KI) at crack tip to be compared with the critical stress intensity factor KIc. The platform automates all these steps foreseen in the methodology once the user specifies a number of boundary conditions at the beginning of the simulation.