United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Methodology for Developing and Implementing Alternative Temperature-Time Curves for Testing the Fire Resistance of Barriers for Nuclear Power Plant Applications (NUREG-1547)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 1996
Date Published:
August 1996

Prepared by:
L.Y. Cooper, K.D. Steckler*

*Building and Fire Research Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Division of Systems Safety and Analysis
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
US. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

Advances in fire science over the past 40 years have offered the potential for developing technically sound alternative temperature-time curves for use in evaluating fire barriers for areas where fire exposures can be expected to be significantly different than the ASTM E-119 standard temperature-time exposure. This report summarizes the development of the ASTM E-119, standard temperature-time curve, and the efforts by the federal government and the petrochemical industry to develop alternative fire endurance curves for specific applications. The report also provides a framework for the development of alternative curves for application at nuclear power plants. The staff has concluded that in view of the effort necessary for the development of nuclear power plant specific temperature-time curves, such curves are not a viable approach for resolving the issues concerning Thermo-Lag fire barriers. However, the approach may be useful to licensees in the development of performance-based fire protection methods in the future.

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