The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Standard Review Plan (SRP) 3.6.3 describes Leak-Before-Break (LBB) assessment procedures that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the 10CFR50 Appendix A, GDC-4 requirement that primary system pressure piping exhibit an extremely low probability of rupture. SRP 3.6.3 does not allow for assessment of piping systems with active degradation mechanisms, such as Primary Water Stress Corrosion Cracking (PWSCC) which is currently occurring in systems that have been granted LBB exemptions. Along with the existing qualitative steps to assuring safety in LBB lines with PWSCC, the NRC staff, working cooperatively with the nuclear industry through a memorandum of understanding, is developing a new, modular based, comprehensive piping system assessment methodology to directly demonstrate compliance with the regulations. This tool, called xLPR (eXtremely Low Probability of Rupture), would properly model the effects and uncertainties of both active degradation mechanisms and the associated mitigation activities. The tool will be comprehensive with respect to known challenges, vetted with respect to scientific adequacy of models and inputs, flexible enough to permit analysis of a variety of in-service situations and adaptable such as to accommodate evolving and improving knowledge. A multi-year project has begun that will first focus on the development of a viable method and approach to address the effects of PWSCC as well as define the requirements necessary for a modular-based assessment tool. A prototype xLPR model and pilot study case is first being conducted leveraging existing fracture mechanics models and software coupled to both a commercial and open source code framework to determine the framework and architecture requirements appropriate for building a modular-based code with this complexity. The pilot study phase is focusing on PWSCC in pressurizer surge nozzles. Later development phases will broaden the scope of xLPR to all primary piping systems in pressurized and boiling water reactors (PWR and BWR), using an incremental approach that incorporates the design requirements and lessons learned from previous iterations. This paper specifically examines the prototype xLPR model and includes the methods and approach used to couple existing models and software as modules within a probabilistic software framework. Since the pilot study is currently still ongoing, this paper provides a discussion of the current status and plans to move forward after the pilot study is complete.

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