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NUMARK Continues Support to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity Project

September 28, 2020 -- NUMARK Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce its selection by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a four-year technical assistance program in support of NRC research regarding reactor pressure vessel (RPV) integrity. Understanding how to assess RPV integrity of operating reactors requires an understanding of RPV materials, applied loadings, and the impact of long-term operation, including changes in material properties with age and continuing increases in neutron fluence. With nuclear plant license extensions, there is a continuing need to evaluate RPV integrity.

The project involves knowledge management, verification, validation, documentation, and modernization for the probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) code FAVOR (Fracture Analysis of Vessels, Oak Ridge). FAVOR is a legacy Fortran code developed over the course of three decades, written in fixed format Fortran. During this project, FAVOR will be refactored to take full advantage of the object-oriented and parallel programming features available in the Fortran 2018 standard. This will facilitate future maintenance and development of FAVOR. NUMARK will be part of a development team to support the FAVOR modernization effort. NUMARK will also assist NRC in creating a FAVOR user group to support use and development of the modern version of the FAVOR code for RPV analyses.

In addition to supporting continued development of the FAVOR code, NUMARK will support NRC improvements to the Radiation Embrittlement Archive Project (REAP) database. As pressure-retaining systems (i.e., piping, vessels) of nuclear power plants age, there is a continuing need to evaluate these systems for their continued operational safety. The REAP database provides detailed information on RPV materials, including documentation of the testing of RPV materials after irradiation. NUMARK will deploy the refactored REAP database, application, and website on behalf of NRC. NUMARK will maintain REAP such that it remains functional and accessible to stakeholders while meeting all Government IT requirements.

The task order continues the technical support NUMARK has provided to NRC on FAVOR and REAP since 2017 and falls under NUMARK’s technical support IDIQ contract with NRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.

NUMARK, founded in 1991, has provided technical support services to NRC since 2007.  Besides its work for NRC, NUMARK supports public and private sector clients in the US and around the world in the areas of nuclear safety, environmental protection, and sustainable energy strategies.

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