Abstract

Probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) based computer codes are increasingly used to evaluate integrity of structural components and systems in nuclear power plants. For example, FAVOR (Fracture Analysis of Vessels – Oak Ridge) is a PFM code for structural integrity of a nuclear reactor pressure vessel, xLPR (eXtremely Low Probability of Rupture) is a PFM code for leak-before-break evaluation of nuclear piping systems due to active corrosion damage, such as primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC). These PFM based computer codes are designed to predict the probability of failure for nuclear structures.

Verification and validation are essential to ensure the accuracy and credibility of a PFM based computer code. Validation is the process of determining the degree to which a model is an accurate representation of the real world from the perspective of the intended uses of the computer code. It provides evidence for how accurately the computer code simulates the real world for the system responses of interest. This conference paper provides a review of current best practice for validation of PFM codes for assessment of nuclear structural integrity. The review is based on information available in the open literature.

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