Jan Spiekhout N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie Groningen, The Netherlands Fracture mechanics models have been developed that predict the leak area that originates from failure in a gas-transmission pipeline. Results of these calculations will improve pipeline and safety control-system design requirements and the evaluation of safety risks of existing pipelines. FAILURE MECHANISMS A leak or a break in a pipeline is a result of failure of a defect in the pipewall. Failure of an existing defect may occur as a result of change in load level, dynamic events, defect growth (for example, fatigue, corrosion), or diminishing mater...

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