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Influence evaluation of sampling methods of the non-destructive examination on failure probability of piping based on probabilistic fracture mechanics analyses

Mano, Akihiro; Katsuyama, Jinya; Li, Y.

In Japanese nuclear power plants, non-destructive examinations (NDEs) are performed for welds in piping in accordance with the rules such as Rules on Fitness-for-Service for Nuclear Power Plant of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME FFS). A set of NDEs is performed in each 10-year interval, and the extent of examination in each interval is specified in the rules. Welding lines to be examined are selected considering the extent of examination based on two sampling methods. One is the fixed location sampling method that welds to be examined are selected from welds examined in the last interval. The other is the random location sampling method that welds to be examined are selected from other than welds examined in the last interval. The selection of the sampling methods is considered to be one of the important factors in in-service inspection. Probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) analysis is expected to be more rational method for the structural integrity assessment because it can consider the uncertainties of various influence factors and evaluate the quantitative values such as failure probability of a cracked component as the solution. In this study, we investigated the influence of the sampling methods related to the NDE on failure probability of typical nuclear piping based on PFM analyses. Through sensitivity PFM analyses, we confirmed that failure probability value obtained from PFM analysis is useful as a quantitative numerical index for selecting the sampling method in an in-service inspection.

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