A high energy piping (HEP) asset integrity management program is important for the safety of power plant personnel and reliability of the generating units. HEP weldment failures have resulted in extensive damage of components and significant lost generation. The main steam (MS) piping system is one of the most critical HEP systems. Creep damage assessment in MS piping systems should include the evaluation of multiaxial stresses associated with the field conditions. Typical creep life assessment stress parameters and estimated failure times are evaluated and compared with those of three MS piping system girth weld creep failures. This paper presents empirical data indicating that lead-the-fleet girth welds of MS piping systems have creep failures which can be successfully predicted by a multiaxial stress parameter, such as maximum principal stress. The calibration study indicates that the parent metal maximum principal stress should be increased by more than 20% to predict reasonable circumferential weldment lives in 2-1/4Cr-1Mo material. The correlation of other stress parameters, such as hoop stress, longitudinal membrane stress, and the standard as-designed ASME B31.1 sustained load stress do not provide an adequate ranking of the most critical girth welds subject to creep. In some piping systems, it is possible that spool-to-spool and circumferential variations in pipe wall thicknesses may influence the weldment life consumption estimates. Therefore, field wall thickness measurements should be taken at the most critical stress locations and applied to the life consumption evaluations.

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