This paper reports the results of the study on the failure modes and limit loads of piping in nuclear power plants subjected to cyclic seismic loading. By investigating the past fracture tests and earthquake resistance tests, it became clear that dominant failure mode of piping was fatigue, and the effect of ratchet strain was negligible. Until now, the stress generated with the acceleration of an earthquake was classified into the primary stress. However, the relationship between the input acceleration and the seismic response displacement of the pipe observed from earthquake resistance tests is non-linear, and increasing rate of displacement is lower than that of input acceleration in elastic-plastic stress condition. Therefore, the seismic loading can be treated as displacement controlled loading. To evaluate the reliability-based critical acceleration, a limit state function was defined taking the variations in the fatigue strength or some parameters into consideration. By using the limit state function, the reliability was evaluated for the typical piping of boiling water reactor (BWR) plants subjected to cyclic seismic loading, and a partial safety factors were calculated. Based on these results, a fatigue curve corresponding to the target reliability was proposed.

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