The Master Curve gives the relation between the median of fracture toughness and temperature in ductile-brittle transition temperature region. The procedure to determine the Master Curve is provided in the current ASTM E1921 standard. Considering the substitution of the alternative lower-bound curves based on the Master Curve approach for the recursive KIc curves in the present codes, the statistical characteristic should be well incorporated into the determination of the lower-bound curves. The appendix in the ASTM standard provides the procedure to derive the lower-bound curves, however, it seems to be addressed without sufficient consideration on statistical reliability. In this study, we proposed a rational determination method of fracture toughness lower-bound curves based on the Master Curve approach. The method took account of the effect of sample size in the determination of the tolerance bound curve. The adequacy of the proposed method was then verified by comparing with a fracture toughness database for RPV steels. The method allows the application of the Master Curve using fewer specimens, which can coexist with the present surveillance program.

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