United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE): Code Reference Manual (NUREG/CR-6952, Vol. 3)

On this page:

Download complete document

Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2007
Date Published:
September 2008

Prepared by:
K.J. Kvarfordt, S.T. Wood, C.L. Smith

Idaho National Laboratory
Battelle Energy Alliance
Idaho Falls, ID 83415

D. O’Neal, NRC Project Manager

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

NRC Job Code N6203

Availability Notice


The Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE) is a software application developed for performing a complete probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) using a personal computer. SAPHIRE is funded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and developed by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The INL's primary role in this project is that of software developer. However, the INL also plays an important role in technology transfer by interfacing and supporting SAPHIRE users comprised of a wide range of PRA practitioners from the NRC, national laboratories, the private sector, and foreign countries.

SAPHIRE can be used to model a complex system’s response to initiating events, quantify associated damage outcome frequencies, and identify important contributors to this damage (Level 1 PRA) and to analyze containment performance during a severe accident and quantify radioactive releases (Level 2 PRA). It can be used for a PRA evaluating a variety of operating conditions, for example, for a nuclear reactor at full power, low power, or at shutdown conditions. Furthermore, SAPHIRE can be used to analyze both internal and external initiating events and has special features for transforming models built for internal event analysis to models for external event analysis. It can also be used in a limited manner to quantify risk in terms of release consequences to both the public and the environment (Level 3 PRA).

SAPHIRE includes a separate module called the Graphical Evaluation Module (GEM). GEM provides a highly specialized user interface with SAPHIRE that automates SAPHIRE process steps for evaluating operational events at commercial nuclear power plants. Using GEM, an analyst can estimate the risk associated with operational events in a very efficient and expeditious manner. This reference guide will introduce the SAPHIRE Version 7.0 software. A brief discussion of the purpose and history of the software is included along with general information such as installation instructions, starting and stopping the program, and some pointers on how to get around inside the program. Next, database concepts and structure are discussed. Following that discussion are nine sections, one for each of the menu options on the SAPHIRE main menu, wherein the purpose and general capabilities for each option are furnished. Next, the capabilities and limitations of the software are provided.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, October 21, 2013