This paper presents efforts to overcome challenges with empirical probability of detection (POD) estimations in the nuclear power industry through the utilization of a novel virtual flaw method. A virtual round robin (VRR) study was conducted under the Program for Investigation Of NDE by International Collaboration (PIONIC), organized by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) utilizing data generated by the virtual flaw method. Analysis of results from the VRR was performed by teams from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Aalto University.

Empirically derived POD estimations are presented, and challenges associated with obtaining these estimations are discussed. The virtual flaw method is introduced and some details of its implementation for the VRR activity are described. Results from POD analysis of the VRR data by PNNL, EPRI, and Aalto University are presented and a discussion regarding differences in analysis results is provided. Finally, potential future efforts to improve the application of the virtual flaw method and its estimation of POD are discussed.

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