United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Evaluation of Current Methodology Employed in Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of Fire Events at Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG/CR-4229, BNL-NUREG-51877)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 1985
Date Published:
May 1985

Prepared by:
C. Ruger, J.L. Boccio, M.A. Azarm
Department of Nuclear Energy
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC FIN A-3710

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Abstract

This report presents a general evaluation of the current methodology used by industry for the probabilistic assessment of fire events in nuclear power plants. The basis for this evaluation, in which the strengths and weaknesses of the methods are identified, stem from reviews of several, industry-sponsored, full-scope Probabilistic Risk Assessments (PRAs) and various deterministic/probabilistic approaches used by industry to judge their compliance with or used to seek exemptions from the fire-protection requirements enumerated in Appendix R to 10 CFR 50.

In performing this evaluation of the current methodologies, state-of-the-art literature on the modeling of fire propagation/detection/suppression, input parameters, and modeling uncertainties are utilized. Areas are identified where recently-developed, more accurate and complete techniques can be implemented to reduce the state-of-knowledge uncertainties that presently exist. Recommendations are also made which could be the basis for a more suitable and complete fire-risk methodology.

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