United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

A Summary of Nuclear Power Plant Fire Safety Research at Sandia National Laboratories, 1975–1987 (NUREG/CR-5384, SAND89-1359)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: December 1989
Date Published:
December 1989

Prepared by:
Steven P. Nowlen
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185

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

NRC FIN A-1010

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Abstract

This report summarizes the results and conclusions generated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission sponsored Fire Protection Research Program at Sandia National Laboratories. Efforts conducted from the program's inception in 1975 through 1987 are discussed. The individual efforts are discussed within a framework based on specific areas of investigation. Early efforts are presented in the context of investigations of specific regulatory concerns. Later efforts are presented within the context of an integrated investigation of fire safety issues. This integrated approach considers the fire safety issue in terms of (1) source fire characterization, (2) detection and suppression system effectiveness, (3) room effects, (4) equipment response, and (5) room-to-room fire effects. The report provides a complete bibliography of reports and journal articles generated as a result of these efforts with a cross-reference listing of major reports to specific efforts.

Among the topics investigated by various experimental efforts are the effectiveness of fire retardant cable coatings and cable tray fire barrier systems in the prevention of fire spread and fire induced damage, the effectiveness of suppression methods for cable tray fires, testing of cable penetration seals, transient fuel fire characterization testing, investigation of electrical cabinet and control room fires, equipment damageability testing, and large scale enclosure fire testing for the validation of computer fire simulation codes. Topics investigated as a part of analytical efforts include a review of the fire regulations which bear relevance to nuclear plants, investigation of the standards and strategies invoked in the design of various fire protection subsystems, the modeling of cable fire behavior, the identification of reported transient fuel sources, and the development of a fire occurrence data base.

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