by David A. Osage, P.E., ASME Fellow / Philip A. Henry, P.E. / Oct 01, 2013

The application of Risk Based Inspection (RBI) has increased significantly over the last decade. The American Petroleum Institute (API) provides two documents pertaining to risk-based inspection (RBI). API Recommended Practice (RP) 580, “Risk-based Inspection”, provides the minimum requirements and the corresponding basic elements for developing and implementing an RBI program to establish inspection plans for fixed equipment. API RP 581, “Risk-Based Inspection Technology”, provides specific details and quantitative calculation procedures for establishment of inspection plans for fixed equipment that are in compliance with all requirements and basic elements defined in API RP 580. The 2nd Edition of API RP 581 is currently being revised and balloted by a task force set up underneath the API Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI). Significant improvements to the document are being proposed including improvements to the calculation of probability of failure, implementation of ISO-risk plotting and modifications to the atmospheric tank module. These improvements will be published in the 3rd Edition of API RP 581, currently scheduled for early 2014. An overview of the current state-of-the-art in API 581 is provided together with a discussion on additional proposed changes that are being implemented to further improve the methodology.

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