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The Effect of Inspection Uncertainties in Predicting the Probability of Leak of Steam Generator Tubing Due to Pitting

[+] Author Affiliations
M. D. Pandey, S. V. Datta

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

D. Komljenovic

Hydro-Quebec, Becancour, QC, Canada

Paper No. ICONE16-48729, pp. 685-693; 9 pages
  • 16th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance, Installations and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Advanced Applications of Nuclear Technology; Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, May 11–15, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4814-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3820-X
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Pitting corrosion is a serious form of degradation in steam generator (SG) tubing of some nuclear generating stations. The nature and extent of the pitting process is assessed through inspection programs, typically using eddy current probes. Although the data can be used in a probabilistic framework to predict the probability of a tube leak in future time intervals, the consideration of uncertainties associated with inspection tools is extremely important. The paper shows that the defect size data collected through inspections are significantly contaminated by probability of detection and measurement error such that the data present an incomplete picture of the defect population. The use of inspection data without accounting for inspection uncertainties in the analysis results in highly biased estimates of the leak probability. The paper presents a statistically correct likelihood method to account for inspection uncertainties and demonstrates its effectiveness through examples.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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