Technical Basis for the use of Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics in Regulatory Applications: Final (NUREG/CR-7278)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: January 2021
Date Published: January 2022

Prepared by:
L. Hund
J. Lewis
N. Martin
M. Starr
D. Brooks
A. Zhang
R. Dingreville
A. Eckert
J. Mullins

Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 8500
Albuquerque, NM 87185

P. Raynaud
D. Rudland
D. Dijamco
S. Cumblidge

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Patrick Raynaud, NRC Project Manager

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington DC 20555-0001

Availability Notice


This NUREG, on probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM), is a companion document to Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.245, Revision 0, “Preparing Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics (PFM) Submittals.” This NUREG describes a graded approach to developing PFM submittal documentation, provides a generalized technical basis for conducting PFM analyses, and constitutes the technical basis for RG-1.245.

The graded approach that is outlined below represents a balance between the benefits of clear, consistent, and comprehensive submittals and the need to maintain flexibility for PFM analyses that, by their nature, include many situation-specific aspects. The resulting guidance, provided in RG1.245, outlines a procedure that includes this suggested graded approach for PFM analyses and submittals. The unique characteristics of the underlying regulatory application dictate the breadth and depth of content included in the submission.

This document also describes a hypothetical process for conducting a PFM analysis. This process is aligned with the position on documentation elements given previously in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) technical letter report, “Important Aspects of Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics Analyses,” issued in 2018. The NUREG provides fundamental background for the concepts and methods introduced in the analysis process. The examples give details for analysts on (nonprescriptive) approaches for PFM analyses.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, January 25, 2022