The INCEFA+ project (INcreasing Safety in nuclear power plants by Covering gaps in Environmental Fatigue Assessment) is a five year project supported by the European Commission HORIZON2020 programme, which will conclude in June 2020. This project aims to generate and analyse Environmental Assisted Fatigue (EAF) experimental data (approximately 230 fatigue data points generated on austenitic stainless steel), and focuses on the effect of several key parameters such as mean strain, hold times and surface finish, and how they interact with environmental effects (air or PWR environment).
This work focuses on the analysis of the data obtained during the INCEFA+ project. More specifically, this paper discusses how the outcome of this analysis can be used to evaluate existing fatigue assessment procedures that incorporate environmental effects in a similar way to NUREG/CR-6909. A key difference between these approaches and the NUREG/CR-6909 is the reduction of conservatisms resulting from the joint implementation of the adjustment sub-factor related to surface finish effect (as quantified in the design air curve derivation) and a Fen penalization factor for fatigue assessment of a location subjected to a PWR primary environment. The analysis presented in this paper indicates that the adjustment (sub-)factor on life associated with the effect of surface finish in air (as described in the derivation of the design air curve in NUREG/CR-6909) leads to substantial conservatisms when it is used to predict fatigue lifetimes in PWR environments for rough specimens. The corresponding margins can be explicitly quantified against the design air curve used for EAF assessment, but may also depend on the environmental correction Fen factor expression that is used to take environmental effects into account.