Structural integrity assessments for cracked nuclear components are currently performed on the basis of deterministic fracture mechanics in accordance with the Rules on Fitness-for-Service for Nuclear Power Plant of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. On the other hand, probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) is expected as a rational method for a structural integrity assessment because it can account for the uncertainties and scatters of various influencing factors and can evaluate quantitative values such as the failure probabilities of the components as the solutions. In the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), a PFM analysis code PASCAL-SP was developed in order to evaluate the failure probability of nuclear pipe by taking into account aging degradation mechanisms such as inter-granular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC) and fatigue in the boiling water reactor (BWR) environment.
Recently, a number of cracks due to primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) have been detected in nickel-based alloy welds in the primary piping of pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Therefore, the structural integrity assessment for primary piping taking PWSCC into consideration has become important.
This paper details the improvement of PASCAL-SP to evaluate the failure probability of primary pipe taking PWSCC into consideration. We introduce several probabilistic evaluation models such as crack initiation, crack growth and crack detection models related to PWSCC into PASCAL-SP. As numerical examples, the failure probabilities for circumferential and axial cracks in nickel-based alloy weld in pipe in the PWR primary water environment are calculated. We also evaluate the influence of non-destructive inspection on failure probabilities. On the basis of the numerical results, we conclude that the improved PASCAL-SP is useful for evaluating the failure probability of primary pipe taking PWSCC into account.