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Reactor pressure vessel

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Thick-walled cylindrical steel vessel enclosing the reactor core in a nuclear power plant. The vessel is made of special fine-grained low alloy ferritic steel, well suited for welding and with a high toughness while showing low porosity under neutron irradiation. The inside is lined with austenitic steel cladding to protect against corrosion. For a 1,300 MWe pressurized water reactor, the pressure vessel is about 12 m high, the inner diameter is 5 m, and the wall of the cylindrical shell is about 250 mm thick. The overall weight amounts to approx. 530 t without internals. The vessel is designed for a pressure of 17.5 MPa (175 bar) and a temperature of 350 °C.

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