Probabilities of Failure and Uncertainty Estimate Information for Passive Components – A Literature Review (NUREG/CR-6936)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: March 2007
Date Published: May 2007

Prepared by:
S.R. Gosselin (1), F.A. Simonen (1), S.P. Pilli (1)
B.O.Y. Lydell (2)

(1) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
P.O. Box 999
Richland, WA 99352

(2) Sigma-Phase Inc.
16917 Orchid Flower Trail
Vail, AZ 85641

S.N. Malik, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Fuel, Engineering and Radiological Research
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code N6019

Availability Notice


This report describes a study performed for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with subcontractor support from Sigma-Phase, Inc. The effort involved reviewing the open literature to collect estimates of failure probability and their associated uncertainties for passive reactor components. The review focused primarily on probabilistic structural mechanics evaluations of plant-specific components for domestic nuclear power plants with pressurized water reactors or boiling water reactors as well as for international plants of similar design.

A computerized search of several databases identified more than 7500 documents, of which only a small fraction were related to probabilistic structural mechanics calculations. Probabilistic treatments and characterizations of fatigue and stress corrosion cracking were found to be well represented in the literature, but only a limited number of the publications described plant-specific and component-specific probabilistic evaluations based on actual design or operating stresses. The NRC will apply these results during the development of probabilistic fracture mechanics tools to generate failure probabilities for passive reactor components for use in regulatory decision making.

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