The operation and maintenance cost of offshore wind turbine substructures contributes significantly in the cost of a kWh. That cost may be lowered by application of reliability- and risk-based maintenance strategies and reliability updating based on inspections performed during the design lifetime. Updating the reliability of a welded joint can theoretically be done using Bayesian updating. However, for tubular joints in offshore wind turbine substructures when considering a two dimensional crack growth and a failure criterion combining brittle fracture and material strength, the updating is quite complex due to the wind turbine loading obtained during operation. This paper solves that updating problem by using the Failure Assessment Diagram as a limit state function. It is discussed how application of the updating procedure can be used for inspection planning for offshore wind turbine substructures, and thus also for reducing the required safety factors at the design stage.

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