United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Verification and Validation of Selected Fire Models for Nuclear Power Plant Applications: Fire-Induced Vulnerability Evaluation (FIVE-Rev1) (NUREG-1824, Volume 4)

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Publication Information

Date Published: May 2007

U.S. NRC-RES Project Manager
M.H. Salley

EPRI Project Manager
R.P. Kassawara

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
3420 Hillview Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94303

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES)
Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-2738

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Abstract

There is a movement to introduce risk-informed and performance-based analyses into fire protection engineering practice, both domestically and worldwide. This movement exists in the general fire protection community, as well as the nuclear power plant (NPP) fire protection community. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has used risk-informed insights as part of its regulatory decision making since the 1990s.

In 2002, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed NFPA 805, Performance-Based Standard for Fire Protection for Light-Water Reactor Electric Generating Plants, 2001 Edition. In July 2004, the NRC amended its fire protection requirements in Title 10, Section 50.48, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 50.48) to permit existing reactor licensees to voluntarily adopt fire protection requirements contained in NFPA 805 as an alternative to the existing deterministic fire protection requirements. In addition, the NPP fire protection community has been using risk-informed, performance-based (RI/PB) approaches and insights to support fire protection decision-making in general.

One key tool needed to further the use of RI/PB fire protection is the availability of verified and validated fire models that can reliably predict the consequences of fires. Section 2.4.1.2 of NFPA 805 requires that only fire models acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) shall be used in fire modeling calculations. Furthermore, Sections 2.4.1.2.2 and 2.4.1.2.3 of NFPA 805 state that fire models shall only be applied within the limitations of the given model, and shall be verified and validated.

This report is the first effort to document the verification and validation (V&V) of five fire models that are commonly used in NPP applications. The project was performed in accordance with the guidelines that the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) set forth in ASTM E 1355, Standard Guide for Evaluating the Predictive Capability of Deterministic Fire Models. The results of this V&V are reported in the form of ranges of accuracies for the fire model predictions.

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