United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

International Collaborative Project to Evaluate Fire Models for Nuclear Power Plant Applications: Proceedings of 5th Meeting (NUREG/CP-0181)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 2003
Date Published:
October 2003

Prepared by:
M. K. Dey
Division of Risk Analysis and Applications
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

A. Hamins
Building and Fire Research Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

S. Miles
Fire and Risk Sciences Division
Building Research Establishment Ltd., UK

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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The 5th Meeting of the International Collaborative Project to Evaluate Fire Models for Nuclear Power Plant Applications was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce and held at NIST headquarters at Gaithersburg, Maryland on May 2 and 3, 2002. The organizing Committee for the meeting included Moni Dey from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC), and Anthony Hamins from NIST. Thirty three participants from five countries attended the international meeting.

The purpose of the 5th meeting was mainly to discuss the results of Benchmark Exercise # 2, "Pool Fires in Large Halls," conducted in the project. Validation and regulatory applications of fire models were also presented and discussed in the meeting. The results presented for Part I of Benchmark Exercise # 2 were generally quite encouraging. While the general, qualitative, nature of the experiments had been captured in the simulations, a number of issues had arisen. Furthermore, the parametric analysis undertaken by a number of participants had yielded useful information. Different conclusions have been drawn on the most significant, or controlling, parameters. The combined effect of the choice of heat of combustion, combustion efficiency and radiative fraction was found to be an important factor. The validation and application of several, diverse fire models, ranging from empirical equations organized in worksheets to zone, lumpedparameter, and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models, were presented and discussed at the meeting. The discussions emphasized the need to validate and determine the accuracy of such models, especially to understand the differences in the predictive capabilities and margins of uncertainty for the different types of models over a range of fire scenarios. This information is needed to establish safety factors and implement effective applications of these models in a regulatory framework. The need to define credible fire scenarios and generate data for fire sources, especially cable tray fires, was emphasized.

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