United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE) Version 8: Overview and Summary (NUREG/CR-7039, Volume 1)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: March 2011
Date Published: June 2011

Prepared by:
C.L. Smith, S.T. Wood

Idaho National Laboratory
Battelle Energy Alliance
Idaho Falls, ID 83415

D. O'Neal, NRC Project Manager

NRC Job Code N6423

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research

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 (PC) running the Microsoft Windows operating system. SAPHIRE Version 8 is funded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and developed by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). INL's primary role in this project is that of software developer and tester. However, INL also plays an important role in technology transfer by interfacing and supporting SAPHIRE users, who constitute 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 and quantify associated consequential outcome frequencies (or probabilities). Specifically, for nuclear power plant applications, SAPHIRE 8 can identify important contributors to core damage (Level 1 PRA) and containment failure during a severe accident which leads to releases (Level 2 PRA). It can be used for a PRA where the reactor is at full power, low power, or at shutdown conditions. Furthermore, it can be used to analyze both internal and external initiating events and has special features for managing models such as flooding and fire. It can also be used in a limited manner to quantify risk, using PRA techniques, in terms of release consequences to the public and environment (Level 3 PRA).

In SAPHIRE 8, the act of creating a model has been separated from the analysis of that model in order to improve the quality of both the model (e.g., by avoiding inadvertent changes) and the analysis. Consequently, in SAPHIRE 8, the analysis of models is performed by using what are called Workspaces. Currently, there are Workspaces for three types of analyses: (1) the NRC's Accident Sequence Precursor program, where the workspace is called "Events and Condition Assessment (ECA);" (2) the NRC's Significance Determination Process (SDP); and (3) the General Analysis (GA) workspace. Workspaces are independent of each other and modifications or calculations made within one workspace will not affect another. In addition, each workspace has a user interface and reports tailored for their intended uses.

This report provides an overview of the functions and features available in SAPHIRE 8 and presents general instructions for using the software. Since SAPHIRE 8 expands upon Version 7, new and improved features will be discussed.

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