The authors performed experimental study for the purpose of the following two items from a viewpoint of cavitation erosion of a cylindrical orifice in view of a problem at the letdown orifice in PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor). 1. To get the critical cavitation parameter of the cylindrical orifice to establish the design criteria for prevention of cavitation erosion, and 2. to ascertain the erosion rate in such an eventuality that the cavitation erosion occurs with the orifice made of stainless steel with precipitation hardening (17-4-Cu hardening type stainless steel), so that we confirm the appropriateness of the design criteria. Regarding the 1st item, we carried out the cavitation tests to get the critical cavitation parameters inside and downstream of the orifice. The test results showed that the cavitation parameter at inception is independent of the length or the diameter of the orifice. Moreover, the design criteria of cavitation erosion of cylindrical orifices have been established. Regarding the 2nd item, we tested the erosion rate under high-pressure conditions. The cavitation erosion actually occurred in the cylindrical orifice at the tests that was strongly resemble to the erosion occurred at the plant. It will be seldom to reproduce resemble cavitation erosion in a cylindrical orifice with the hard material used at plants. We could establish the criteria for preventing the cavitation erosion from the test results.

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