News & Views, Volume 49 | Inspection Optimization- Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics

News & Views, Volume 49 | Inspection Optimization: Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics

By:  Scott Chesworth (SI) and Bob Grizzi (EPRI)

News & Views, Volume 49 | Inspection Optimization- Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics

The goal was to determine whether the frequency of current inspection requirements was justified or could be optimized (i.e., increase the interval of certain inspections to devote more attention to higher-value inspections and thereby maximize overall plant safety).

Executive Summary

Welds and similar components in nuclear power plants are subjected to periodic examination under ASME Code, Section XI.  Typically, examinations are performed during every ten-year inspection interval using volumetric examination techniques, or a combination of volumetric and surface examination techniques.  Nuclear plants worldwide have performed numerous such inspections over plant history with few service induced flaws identified.

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News & View, Volume 48 | Examination Optimization for PWR and BWR Components

News & Views, Volume 48 | Examination Optimization for PWR and BWR Components

By:  Scott Chesworth, Bob Grizzi, and Dilip Dedhia

Optimizing the inspection interval for high-reliability components whose examinations have a significant outage impact.News & View, Volume 48 | Examination Optimization for PWR and BWR Components

Welds and similar components in nuclear power plants are subject to periodic examination under ASME Code, Section XI.  Typically, examinations are performed during every ten-year inspection interval using volumetric examination techniques, or a combination of volumetric and surface examination techniques.  Nuclear plants worldwide have performed numerous such inspections over the plant history with few service induced flaws identified.  Since personnel health and safety, radiation exposure, and overall outage costs associated with these inspections can be significant, Structural Integrity (SI) was contracted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to review the technical bases for the inspection intervals for select components.  The goal was to determine whether the frequency of current inspection requirements was justified or could be optimized (i.e., reduced in order to devote more attention to higher-value inspections and thereby maximize overall plant safety).  Special priority was given to components demonstrating an exceptional history of reliability and whose examinations have a significant outage impact.