Meeting of the Joint Subcommittee on Reliability and Probabilistic Risk Assessment - December 15, 1999
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON REACTOR SAFEGUARDS
MEETING: RELIABILITY AND PROBABILISTIC RISK ASSESSMENT
11545 Rockville Pike, Room T-2B1
Wednesday, December 15, 1999
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:30 a.m.
GEORGE APOSTOLAKIS, Chairman, ACRS
MARIO BONACA, Member, ACRS
ROBERT SEALE, Member, ACRS
ROBERT UHRIG, Member, ACRS
. P R O C E E D I N G S
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The meeting will now come to order. This
is the first day of the meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Reliability
and Probabilistic Risk Assessment. I am Dr. George Apostolakis,
Chairman of the subcommittee.
ACRS members in attendance are Mario Bonaca, Robert Seale,
and Robert Uhrig.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the staff's
programs for risk-based analysis of reactor operating experience,
including special studies for common-cause failure analy ses, system and
component analyses, accident sequence precursor analyses, and related
matters. Tomorrow, December 16, 1999, the subcommittee will discuss NRC
staff efforts in the area of risk-informed technical specifications and
associated industry initiatives proposed by the Risk-informed Technical
Specification Task Force. The subcommittee will gather information,
analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and
actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the full committee.
Michael G. Markley is the cognizant ACRS staff engineer for
The rules for participation in today's meeting have been
announced as part of the notice of this meeting previously published in
the Federal Register on December 1, 1999.
A transcript of the meeting is being kept and will be made
available as stated in the Federal Register notice. It is requested
that speakers first identify themselves and speak with sufficient
clarity and volume so that they can be readily heard.
We have received a request from Mr. Jim Riccio of Public
Citizen to enter a written statement into the public record related to
risk-informed technical specifications. Mr. Riccio is expected to
provide his written statement during the December 16, 1999 portion of
We will now proceed with the meeting and I call upon Mr.
Baranowsky and Mr. Mays from the Office of Research to begin.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I'm Patrick Baranowsky, chief of the
Operating Experience Risk Analysis Branch. I will give the introduction
today, the overview of what the presentation is about. Then Steve Mays
will provide some additional comment on our purpose. Then we have a
number of presentations which I will identify in a couple of minutes.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The purpose of us coming to the ACRS
subcommittee today is to give an overview of the activities in this
branch, which I believe we used to discuss when we were part of AEOD
about every six to eight months. We haven't been before the ACRS to
talk about the risk-based analysis of reactor operating experience since
Not only do we want to talk about some of the recent results
of studies and activities that we have had, but also we want to talk
more about the role of the Operating Experience Risk Analysis Branch
programs and get some feedback if we can on an overview basis, if you
will, of what our program is and its relevance to the regulatory
In terms of the technical review of the work that we
normally do, we have a fairly standard process for soliciting peer
review. So most of our studies get a fairly good review at a technical
level and only on special occasions such as special issues and
common-cause failure analysis, and so forth, will we come before the
advisory committee with a technical issue for review.
In this case primarily we are talking about an overview of
the program and recent results and the use and uses of this work
The content of the presentations after this overview that
both Steve and I will be presenting will cover data sources,
reliabilities studies, common-cause failure, accident sequence precursor
program, including our recent special study on the D.C. Cook plant, and
some information on risk-based performance indicators.
With regard to the latter item, we had a special ACRS
meeting on that a few months ago. We have been working on putting
together a paper we call a white paper, which gives more information on
risk-based performance indicators, and we expect to have future meetings
on that specific topic. So there is an example of one we will be
wanting to go into technical detail with this subcommittee or with the
full committee, but today we are going to give more of an overview on
recent developments in that area just to keep things up to speed.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Are the people working on the oversight
process aware of this work?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes. In fact we can discuss that later.
We did have a meeting yesterday with NRR on this. We had a draft
version of that so-called white paper. As a result of that interaction,
we are going to make some modifications to it. Then we are going
provide that to NRR, NEI and the ACRS, and that could be the topic of a
future meeting. That should occur within a few weeks to a month.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. SEALE: Pat, one of the real assets that any group like
yours can have is the existence of a competent peer group to do this
peer review on a regular basis. I think that is particularly
significant for you now that you have been integrated and merged and all
of that sort of thing.
The group that immediately comes to mind is that group that
is in either INPO or WANO that does the industry's version of the review
To what extent do you have overlap between you in terms of
covering specific events?
MR. BARANOWSKY: In terms of what we do, I don't see too
much overlap between us and INPO. We primarily do either the accident
sequence precursor program or the risk-based performance indicators
neither of which they have specific activities on, but they have
activities that support that. For instance, they are helping with the
collection of data that would be part of the risk-based performance
indicators in the so-called EPIX program.
We meet with them about once every month or six weeks and
stay in telephone contact to talk about how these things fit together.
The idea is not to have two competing groups, but they are fairly
knowledgeable about what we are doing and vice versa because the pieces
have to fit together.
MR. SEALE: As I say, my personal opinion is that one of the
more valuable assets that you can have is a competent peer group. I
consider those guys to be a peer group. They are good, they are smart,
and they are familiar enough with your program to give you meaningful
comment and criticism, and you do the same.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We pretty make sure that when we do
something related to performance indicators and data that we get INPO to
be one of the peers on it.
MR. SEALE: Very good.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We also go to EPRI and the owners groups.
Let me quickly show this next chart, which is sort of the
organization of the way the programs work. The idea here is to convey
some sense of thoroughness and organization to the work. It is
organized logically and hierarchically.
If you look at the bottom of this chart, it starts out with
operational data. What we have done is identified the kinds of data
sources and data systems that we need to provide the information to
perform the analyses in the next tiers up.
The first tier up involves industry-wide analyses and
methods for performing those analyses, whether they be system
reliability analyses, common-cause failure, or whatever. Here we have
performed analyses to derive insights to feed into the regulatory
programs such as risk-informed inspections and insights that might be
used for resolution of generic issues, as well as putting together
models that can be used to improve our ability to perform the next tier
up, which is the plant-specific event analyses.
In this next tier up we look at things like accident
sequence precursors and special studies. The Cook analysis which we are
going to talk about today is one of them.
The highest tier up is to take all the insights and models
that we have derived from the lower levels and put them together in such
a way that they allow us to discriminate performance. That means we
have to develop the capability using these tools to actually
differentiate changes in performance and between individual licensees,
and that is the risk-based performance indicator type of activity which
we will be talking about last.
Steve will now talk about the role of this work in the
regulatory program and then we will get into some details.
MR. MAYS: I'm Steve Mays. I'm the assistant branch chief
in the Operating Experience Risk Analysis Branch. What I want to talk
to you about now is the role of the stuff we are doing in the regulatory
We have always had a goal in mind of providing information
of a risk nature that could be useful in the regulatory process. This
activity has now started to gel a little bit more with the new oversight
process and also with the significant efforts under way under strategic
planning and the planning, budgeting, and performance monitoring
What has come out of those processes is a set of agency
goals that are listed on here that are going to be tracked at various
levels in the agency. The four areas that we are talking about doing
agency level work for this risk analysis can fit into are areas of
maintaining safety, improving regulatory effectiveness and efficiency,
reducing unnecessary burden, either to us or the licensees, and
improving public confidence.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I would say, as I read the memo also from
Mr. King, what you are doing is providing risk assessment. By doing so,
since PRA is the fundamental tool, all these other things follow. I
would focus on that. Without your work, there would always be questions
about how real the results of PRAs are, especially at the system level.
MR. MAYS: I think there are two areas of that I would agree
with. One is the credence of the analysis and the credence of risk
assessment as a viable entity on its own.
The second part is, given that you have that, what is its
role in the agency function? You could have a wonderful tool, but if
you didn't need to do that for that agency function, it would make no
sense. So it is the marrying of those two together and making it clear
that the analysis and the information we are providing has a role in
making the agency capable of doing those things that we are trying to
You will notice in that letter you are referring to, which I
believe is the request for the review of the system updates, what we are
trying to do is make it clear to our stakeholders internal to the agency
that these are the things we are doing and this is how it supports them
doing their job. That is a real important point.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The point I am trying to make Steve, is
that you don't need to tell the agency how important PRA is. It is on
record already. This is not a big deal. You should focus really on the
important point that your work validates in some sense the results of
MR. MAYS: We agree.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I agree with that, George. On top of that,
we need to make sure that the specific use of this work is getting into
the regulatory process. That is part of what Steve is talking about.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think we agree. It's just a matter of
MR. MAYS: On the next slide we talk about what are the
activities we do that relate to maintaining safety.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is there any reason why you want to tell
us these things? This subcommittee is absolutely convinced that what
you are doing is very important.
MR. MAYS: This was just to lay groundwork. If
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why don't to you skip to Data-1.
MR. MAYS: I will be happy to do that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Unless you have an ulterior motive to do
MR. MAYS: No. I will be happy to do that. This was just
to make sure we laid the groundwork.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Hidden agenda. Steve would never have a
MR. MAYS: You know I have no hidden agendas. I am not
capable of hiding an agenda.
MR. MAYS: This first slide is a reprint of the earlier one
that Pat put up with highlights of the areas that we are going to talk
about under the data sources.
The three we are going to talk about are going to be the
sequence coding and search system, which is our licensee event reporting
The equipment performance and information exchange program,
which is the industry data run by INPO;
And the reliability and availability data system, which is
the process that we are putting in place to gather information from both
of those sources and make reliability and availability information
readily available for risk-informed applications.
With that, what I would like to do is introduce Mr. Dale
MR. BARANOWSKY: I want to bring up one point. We talked to
the oversight folks yesterday. They said if they buy into risk-based
performance indicators, what else are they buying into? They are going
to be buying into these three things, because you have to have them in
order to do the risk-based performance indicators. That is why we
picked them out.
MR. MAYS: To talk about the sequence coding and search
system, Mr. Dale Yeilding, who is the project manager for that
particular effort, is here to give you an overview of what is in the
sequence coding search system and what we do with that.
MR. YEILDING: I am Dale Yeilding, project manager for the
sequence coding search system.
Everybody knows the LER. It's the main report we get from
licensees that describes events that they have at their plant. A lot of
studies that are done here at the agency use the LER as their main focal
point for getting the information. So any way that we can get
information out of an LER easier, faster, more efficiently is an
efficient tool for the agency. That is what the sequence coding search
I will probably go into the structure a little bit of how we
code and what is in it, but after I am done with these next three or
four slides I hope everyone understands the word "sequence" in the title
of this database.
Just a reference to ADAMS. ADAMS is going to make the LER
more available to the public like NUDOCS did in the past, but we have to
be aware that NUDOCS and ADAMS only maintain the text of the LER. It
didn't have any other fancy or detailed coding search features other
than just trying to pick a word out that you are looking for to get the
LERs that you need.
The system reduces text on to coded fields. So an engineer
out at Oak Ridge National Lab is reading the LER, gaining information
points out of that they deem important and coding it into coded fields
of the database.
These codes describe all the equipment failures, personnel
errors, detailed cause-effects, actuating parameters, detailed
characteristics of the event. There are more than 150 different pieces
of information that are specifically coded into this database.
This reduces staff reviews. If they need to find LERs that
match a certain criteria, the computer, as we know, is an efficient tool
to get the LERs that you need.
We are calling this one-stop shopping for a person that
needs to get information out of an LER.
The database has been in the agency for quite sometime, way
back in the old mainframe stages at Oak Ridge National Lab. It
currently contains over 47,000 LERs since 1981. We moved it from a
mainframe about two years ago to an Internet site at Oak Ridge National
Lab. It is easy, point and click, and it has simplified the user
interface. Prior operation of this required extensive knowledge of
computer codes and specifics. Right now anybody that can surf the
Internet can point and click and do an LER search on the system.
MR. UHRIG: Is 47,000 the total amount of LERs since 1981 or
is it a selected group?
MR. YEILDING: All LERs since 1981. We even have a very
detailed quality control process that we do four times a year to make
sure we don't miss one, even checking up on NUDOCS and ADAMS. Sometimes
I end up getting missed LERs. We get them faxed and we get them into
NUDOCS and ADAMS also.
Oak Ridge National Lab besides operating the database codes
the LERs, put the information into the database, and also provides
assistance in searching. Even though our tool on the Internet is very
user friendly, sometimes there are some capabilities where you need the
experienced staff down there and some outside access to the database.
As programmers, they can do more extensive searches. They also do
analysis of their search results if we ask them.
I don't want to go into the 150 specific pieces of
information that are coded into the database, but we get details of
equipment performance down to component failures, loss of systems,
trains, channels. It is coded down to the detailed level.
Personnel errors, the type of personnel involved, the
activity that the person was doing: maintenance, operation, testing.
The effect on the unit. Most of the database is structured
towards failures, because that is what an LER is structured to. We do
have successes, and the only two successes we code are ESF actuations,
which includes the system and the actuating parameter, and also SCRAMS.
We get down to effect on environment and personnel. These
are radiation releases or personnel contamination.
MR. SEALE: On the successes question, we all know of cases
where an event is terminated by a hero. By that I mean some operator or
other staff member did something that was not necessarily a part of the
MR. YEILDING: Started a mitigating system or something like
MR. SEALE: They initiated a mitigation process which
essentially shut the problem down.
Do you in any way recognize those kinds of actions.
MR. YEILDING: If the information is in an LER, it would be
dissected by the coders and coded into the database. The structure of
coding is to take the 8-page LER, divide into discrete happenings,
whether it is personnel pushing a button or whether it is an equipment
failure or whether they started AFW.
MR. SEALE: You said there are two things that you
recognize, but you recognize other things in some way.
MR. YEILDING: That is true. If it is in the sequence of
events to mitigate a problem, yes, it would be coded in the database.
Also, critical path method scheduling, that type of matrix shows you a
flow of events happening in a schedule. The coding of this database is
also coded in that series/parallel paths such that you can search for
something happening before or after something else. That is where the
sequence aspect comes in.
Our users right now are just agency staff and agency
contractors, who call Oak Ridge National Lab and do a cost reimbursement
of a $400 or $500 search. We are considering, but we haven't gone
through management for approval of releasing this database to the public
also. We haven't analyzed all the impacts on questions we have received
and things like that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You do plan to do that?
MR. YEILDING: I can't say that. We haven't really analyzed
all the impacts. If we released this database to the public, we would
probably be inundated with questions of why this, why that, and we
haven't really analyzed and gone through that aspect. It is on a Web
site. We have got a powerful enough computer. We could do that. We
just haven't gone through the approval cycle of releasing it to the
MR. BARANOWSKY: What he is really saying is the search
scheme is not so user friendly that we wouldn't expect to get a lot of
questions on how to use the tool. So before we release something to the
public we have to make sure the public can use it. We haven't really
designed this to be used by the general public. It has been designed to
be used by a limited number of scientific personnel.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let's say that somebody wants to use this
and is a scientific person. Can he do that?
MR. YEILDING: Right now no, because we have a block at the
site. The site looks to make sure you are coming from this building.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We need to figure out how to make it
available to the general community better. It is just a new thing for
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We want to expand the usage of it because
it is a pretty valuable resource.
MR. YEILDING: Uses of the database are pretty obvious. Any
system or process or study in this agency that uses an LER could use
this database. The rest of this briefing today and tomorrow is going to
talk about various systems and studies that use the database.
I think I mentioned we just upgraded the platform to a more
We are developing a more streamlined method for the
engineers at Oak Ridge National Lab to put the data into the database.
That is just about complete.
We are involved some modifications since NUDOCS shut down
and ADAMS started up of getting the full text into the database.
After you search and get list of LERs that match your search
criteria, you can also read the LER on this database. So that is
another convenience for the staff.
That is our projection here to get the format for ADAMS.
Like any system, we have a user wish list of enhancements. We have got
a whole backlog of things.
With time permitting, I probably could do a three to five
minute demonstration. I don't if you wanted to do a quick search of the
database, or maybe later on, on a break or something. I will leave it
up to the crowd here whether or not they want to see a three to five
minute demonstration. Time permitting later on?
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We will see.
MR. YEILDING: That is all I have. Any questions?
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Don't worry. If we have questions, you'll
MR. MAYS: The next topic is the equipment performance and
information exchange system. This is a system that was developed by the
industry through INPO initially to replace the NPRDS database system.
The initial impetus was to provide data and information in a more user
friendly to the utilities to support maintenance rule implementation.
Subsequent to that, when we had the liability and
availability data rule, one of the alternatives that the industry
proposed and the Commission accepted was instead of us having a rule,
they would make modification to the EPIX system to provide reliability
and availability data in addition to the other information that was
Subsequent to that we have had interactions and meetings
with them, as the Commission directed, to be able to get and obtain more
and better information from that system.
Subsequently, early this year, in April, there was a meeting
in which the industry and the NRC people who are the users of EPIX got
together and said, you know, there is a lot of stuff about reliability
data and other things that are being carried on and being captured in
three or five different ways by everybody at the same time.
An example would be there is one way to collect availability
information for WANO; there is another way to collect availability
information for the maintenance rule; there is another way to collect
availability information from the pilot program; there is another way we
are collecting analysis information for our PRA. Et cetera, et cetera.
So they said, why are we collecting all this same basic data
several different ways?
At that meeting it was proposed that the charter mission of
EPIX be changed to become the industry's single common database for
doing all these things.
The structure would be we would gather data and information
at the lowest common denominator level and then for the special
applications, like the WANO indicator or the oversight process or the
PRA, we would create modules in EPIX that would be able to take those
portions of that data that were necessary to fulfill that specific
That has now been endorsed by the INPO Industry Review Group
and that is part of the activities that we are going on. So that has
become the new mission for the EPIX database that we want to talk about
MR. SEALE: It is my understanding that part of the origin
of the confusion from this multiplicity of data sets was differences in
the definition of what availability was. I assume now that there is a
transparent EPIX definition of availability and there is a clearly
understandable variant or supplement to that definition which will give
you an unambiguous definition of what the other versions of availability
MR. MAYS: That is what we are working on. We had a meeting
with them just this past month to go over that information. The NRC
came down with a proposal on what unavailability meant and what raw data
would be necessary to get that. The issues come about, I think, less
from the definition of what unavailability is than they come about from
the specific uses for unavailability.
Let me give you an example. In the WANO indicator, if I
have three HPI pumps but I only have to have two to satisfy my FSAR,
then their indicator of unavailability for that system says that since
you are not required to have it for the FSAR, any unavailability you
have on that third pump doesn't count because it's not needed. So you
only have to have unavailability reported in the WANO indicator if you
have one out and another one out.
MR. SEALE: It's only when you begin to eat into tech spec
MR. MAYS: Eat into the tech spec requirements. That
unavailability, reported that way, is completely useless to PRA
applications. So the issues tend to be more along the lines of what are
the specific little features about what hours I will and won't count
towards my unavailability indicator than they are about the question of
what is unavailable.
MR. SEALE: I appreciate that.
MR. MAYS: There are some issues with respect to that that
we are still working on with INPO, but that is what where we are trying
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I also have a related comment. You made a
very valid point. This is a distinction between the unavailability of a
system and the unavailability of an individual component, right?
MR. MAYS: That too.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Another point which is related is the
accurate use of terminology. We have used the word "unavailability"
about ten times in the last five minutes. Yet the series of reports
talk about reliability analysis of this system and that system. When
you look inside the report, you realize that one is the availability and
the other is the reliability for a particular plant.
We had similar confusion when we were doing the review of
the maintenance rule update. There was utter confusion as to what the
definition of unavailability was. There was a Mickey Mouse definition
in an appendix of some document. I wrote two or three pages that nobody
Can we agree on a certain set of definitions and maybe from
now on when we say availability this is what we mean.
I notice when talking to people in the industry that when
they say reliability many times they mean the availability. In the PRA
context, of course, they are two different things.
Maybe we can start with this to promote a more accurate
MR. BARANOWSKY: We tried that, George. In fact we took
maybe the ACRS -- and it might have been yours -- your definition of
availability. The problem was one of the things, if I recall, was the
amount of hours something is required to perform its function.
The business of "required" is the problem. Required to tech
specs or required for risk analysis? You get two different numbers.
That is exactly what is going on. Or required for maintenance rule? So
you had this "required" business being two or three different
definitions and thus they are collecting information two or three
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I agree, Pat. In fact the point you just
made reinforces my thinking. I really think we need a document that
explains this. There is a conceptual mathematical definition of
availability, unavailability, reliability, and then there are questions
as to how that concept is to be estimated from data. I think both you
and Steve really refer to that, that some people interpret the hours
from the regulatory perspective, others from this. Steve mentioned the
example of the two out of three system.
So let's not confuse the two. I think a white paper
explaining clearly what these things mean would be very valuable to
everyone. I noticed when Mr. Papangelo was here he also said help us.
What exactly do you mean? I was talking to an INPO engineer a couple
years ago and he was adamant that the reliability was the probability of
the component being there on demand. I thought, well, that's
availability. He said, no, that's reliability. That's what we are
calling it in the industry.
MR. MAYS: I agree. We have some loose terminology in the
business and that is complicating our work.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I urge you to maybe put some work to that
and maybe list in the white paper the issues that you two gentlemen just
raised, that there are different ways of interpreting it. That would be
a nice conference paper, by the way.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Is that right?
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. MAYS: As usual, we have one of the things that happens
when we start talking about these things. We have talked before about
the old Jerry Fussell comment about the hiring of a PRA engineer: did
you have a number in mind? I think what happens is when you start
trying to pin down these definitions in certain arenas people are
looking for a definition that gets them the number they had in mind.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If you publish that white paper, I think
you are going to really lay the foundation for a simple system
MR. MAYS: When we went down and talked to the folks at EPIX
we raised these issues about the thing and we came to a pretty good
agreement with the group that was working on the problem at INPO, that
what we needed to do is gather data in the broadest sense of the way
that would allow us to take and dissect that into pieces. If, for
example, you wanted to use the realignment back to the normal thing as
your count for your unavailability hours for something but you still
hadn't tested to verify that it was going to be capable to do that after
your maintenance, the people would have the availability to choose which
one of those was the one they needed for their particular application.
That is what we are concentrating on in that area right now.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think the main issue is how to use it in
MR. HAMZEHEE: I am Hossein Hamzehee in the Reliability
Branch. I think the major problem as far as I remember that industry
had with this was the fact that when the maintenance rule was formalized
there was a given definition that industry had to adopt, perform the
maintenance rule and collect data for the NRC. Then other definitions
have come along and the utilities are having problems. They have so
many different definitions of availability, they want to stick to the
maintenance rule. Now we are trying to come up with something that is
close to the maintenance rule but also has some other applications that
could support PRA and significance, their mission process and the new
reactor oversight process.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Again, what you just said makes me feel
even more strongly that we need this white paper.
MR. SEALE: You want to be limited by the intellect of the
people who are doing the job, not by the terminology you are using to
define the process.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That is correct. What you said is very
MR. MAYS: We just about covered that slide. I want to go
to the EPIX program description. I am going to talk about EPIX with
respect to the information for reliability and availability data and
There are four different categories of types of data that
are provided in EPIX, and it has to do with the nature of the components
that are in there.
There are components that belong to the SSPI systems,
components that belong to the risk-significant maintenance rule
applications, those that belong that are in the non-risk-significant
maintenance rule area, and then further components which aren't in the
maintenance rule scope at all but are ones that the industry wants to
keep information on because they are components that upon failure cause
loss of generation of power. That is an economic consideration for
The data that is provided in EPIX varies depending on which
category it is.
MR. BONACA: What is the source of the LERs?
MR. MAYS: There is an EPIX manual and guidance out to the
industry that says report this information in this format, and they have
a Web site where the stuff comes in. It is fairly well automated. The
plant people put the information together and it is transmitted to the
Web site at INPO. They do a few data checks on it, and then it is
MR. BONACA: How complete is this? For the other source
which you are discussing, which is the SCSS, you have LERs, and LERs
have to be written. Does this information have to be written every
time? Is there an agreement between the industry and INPO to collect
MR. MAYS: Yes, there is. There is a specifications
document that tells what kind of information has to be captured and what
kind of information has to be put in there and how you are supposed to
MR. BARANOWSKY: This is a voluntary activity, and there is
some concern, especially on the NRR management side of the house, as to
whether or not this will be sufficiently supported to be used in the
regulatory process. We had the same problem with NPRDS, if you will
MR. BONACA: That was my question. The question is how
accurate is the base if you don't have a complete report.
MR. BARANOWSKY: It's not there yet. I don't know how good
it is at this point, but I know it has some problems. We are hoping
those are just growing pains because it is only about a year or so old.
MR. SEALE: Clearly some might fulfill more than one of
these requirements. That is, it might be with SSPI systems but also
cause a significant loss of generation of power. So they fit in more
than one pocket. Is there any kind of awareness of that that is
preserved in the individual records?
MR. MAYS: Yes, because each failure record that goes into
the thing has a characteristic in the EPIX database that indicates what
its impact was. So those are kept track of that way so they will be
able to do their sorts and their reports on them that way.
With respect to data that is in the EPIX database, the basic
information is the device record which gives information about the type,
the manufacturer, the specifications of the device. This is similar
information that used to be in the application coded NPRDS type data
records. Those are required for the SSPI and the risk and significant
systems from the maintenance rule.
For the other cases they are not required to have a device
record for all those devices at the plant, but any time they have a
failure that relates to those they put a device record in, and then it
becomes tracked after that.
The failure records are required when failures occur in any
of these cases. So there is a failure record that talks about its
cause, what the subcomponents were. That information is available in
With respect to reliability information, the SSPI data has
estimated test demands and operating hours. It has a quarterly report
of the test demands and operating hours that is required. That is the
information we are getting on the SSPI level systems and components.
For the maintenance rule risk-significant systems, which are
not in the SSPI, those reports are optional. A required report is that
the total estimated number of demands and operating hours is provided.
So that is the basis of the data that we are going to have
to take and use to be able to do our calculations of risk-informed
activities. We are working with them to improve that stuff, which is
what I want to talk about on the next slide.
What we have asked them to do and the group that we have
been working with has tentatively agreed to is to characterize the
demands by the non-test demands, the actual or spurious demands that
really make a system work like it was designed to function, the total
number of test demands, and the test demands that simulate ESFs.
The purpose of this is to be able to sort the data to know
which data we can combine for appropriate purposes in reliability and
risk assessment and those kinds of activities that we wouldn't be able
to get otherwise.
The other thing we have asked them to report which they are
not reporting now is to report the planned unavailability of components.
Currently, if a component breaks, they have unavailability from the time
it breaks until the time they fixed it. They also give us information
about false exposure time.
What they don't is tell us when they go in there and take it
out of service for 8 hours or a day to do maintenance on it on a
scheduled routine maintenance or some other reason. So we are going to
be asking them to provide us that information. The group has
tentatively agreed to do that.
We have also asked them to consider additional high
risk-significant systems and key components of those systems for
inclusion in the level of detail that is typically what you have of the
SSPI components now. So we are asking them to expand the number of
components that would be in that set that we are getting more data.
These are the systems that have asked to be put in. The group that is
working with us had tentatively agreed to add those as well.
The next couple of slides talk about EPIX system uses and
users of the data. There are regulatory applications on the left side,
the specific uses listed in the middle, and the NRC branches that would
be performing those particular activities are listed on the side. That
you will see also in that letter we transmitted for the system update
studies. We are trying to lay these things out in that way to make it
more integrated into the process.
What has been going on with EPIX is that they began
collecting data for this in 1997. We received their first set of
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let me understand something. In the
previous slide, what is the purpose? You are not going to use only EPIX
data in your risk-based performance indicator.
MR. MAYS: No. This is not only EPIX data, but this where
the EPIX data will fit into that regulatory application. It is not
meant to say this is the entirety of what that application will involve.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But this slide could equally well be under
the caption that says "NRC uses of data." Is that true?
MR. MAYS: True.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: There is nothing unique about EPIX.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The point is that we went and looked at all
these uses to try and come up with the EPIX specification.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That is different.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We didn't want to have specifications that
were just anything you could ever possibly think of. We said what are
the uses and what do those users actually need? We went and talked to
every single branch and we got individuals from each branch to be on the
users group, and then we sent the spec to the branch and asked the
branch chief to concur in it. That is the way we set this up, so it
wasn't one of these piles of data that anybody could possibly want to
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That makes sense to me. For a moment I
thought this meant something else.
MR. SEALE: I think there is a point here too, and that is
that the people who are doing this have to be sold on the fact that it's
not just a collection of a pile of data, that in fact it has had an
impact, there are people using it, and that's the people in the
utilities and INPO that are doing the EPIX system. It's a raison d'etre
for their activities in support of this program.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So at the end of the day we will
understand the difference between the accidence sequence precursor
program and the SPAR?
MR. MAYS: Yes, you should know that by the end of the day.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I thought you were going to say you should
know that by now.
MR. SEALE: You are a quick study, George.
MR. MAYS: I have to make a correction. There are occasions
when I do have a hidden agenda.
INPO gave us their first complete set of EPIX data in March
I talked earlier about the working group changing the
mission statement for EPIX. We have had meetings with the subcommittee
What is going to be happening next is EPIX is proposing to
send the revisions based on this information to their executive points
of contact to get their buy-in. They are going to talk about purposes,
how much scope this is going to be, how much burden they think it is
going to be industry to provide this, and tell them what they want to be
doing. So we will get buy-in from the industry that says this is what
we want to do and that they are willing to do that.
There are two releases of new versions of EPIX coming out.
The first release, 3.1, is going to be designed to collect the data.
EPIX version 4.0 is going to be the one that is designed to have the
modules in it to take that data and do all the various different
calculational things so people won't have to continue collecting data
five different ways at the plant.
That is all I had on the EPIX system.
The next presentation we are going to talk about is the
reliability and availability data system. Dr. Rasmuson from my staff,
who is charge of putting this together, will be here to talk. I think
we can go through this one fairly quickly. If you want to take a break
after that, it is natural place to stop.
MR. RASMUSON: I am Dale Rasmuson. I am the technical
monitor for the reliability and availability data system. This is a
system whose purpose is to calculate reliability parameters. To do
that, you have got to have some data. Part of that is that we have a
database that is associated with it.
The input to the database is mainly information from the
EPIX system. I will talk a little bit about that as we go along, some
of the things that I found with EPIX, and so forth.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Not from the SCSS?
MR. RASMUSON: SCSS but primarily from EPIX. We can take
information from any source and put it together. Right now we are
working with the EPIX data. We will also take information from the SCSS
on the actual demands. Those are the primary sources of the data.
We calculate the probability of failure on demand. We will
estimate the failure rates for operating components. We will have in it
the maintenance out of service unavailability.
When you are talking about unavailability, George, I think
it's important to put adjectives in front of those things. A lot of
times when we are using the word "unavailability" we think of it more in
terms of maintenance or out of service.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: There is a distinction.
MR. RASMUSON: Right. I think sometimes if we put the
adjective in front of it, it really helps.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe I should give you a copy of that
MR. RASMUSON: The other thing that we do is we can
calculate trends in time to see whether the yearly or the quarterly
failure rates or demand probabilities are decreasing or increasing or
The options. We are able to go in and select the system,
the component, the failure modes, and that which you would expect in a
We can estimate the plant-specific failure rates, and so
Then we have the output reports that are output.
When we get this really moving and implemented, as we update
the database we will run a set of standard analyses which will be put on
the internal NRC web so that these will be available to the whole staff.
RADS is not designed to be available to just everyone. It
takes some little bit of training and understanding of things to really
get in and understand the analyses and make sure you know how to do
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Are these analyses going to be available
to the industry at large?
MR. RASMUSON: In fact, industry is talking about taking
RADS itself and making it their calculational module for EPIX. That is
in the talking stages. Right now INPO is busy working on the input
data, all these changes and things that have been coming along the line,
trying to get that into shape.
We have standard statistical methods and Bayesian methods
and we have empirical Bayes methods. These are the standard methods
that have been used in our system studies. So we have just implemented
these in RADS. We tested the homogeneity of data and things like that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I really wonder why you do the classical
statistical method, unless you have to keep your statisticians happy.
MR. RASMUSON: There are some people that look at that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's all right. I agree.
MR. RASMUSON: The next couple of slides give you an idea of
the systems that we were doing.
When EPIX started INPO just basically threw out NPRDS and
started from scratch. They didn't take a lot of the structure and the
names and a lot of the guidance they had. They just said to the
utilities, okay, enter data. So they started entering data and so
It was fine for the utilities and what they were going to
do, but when we got the data and we started to say, well, I wanted to
look at an auxiliary feedwater pump, I found that I literally had to
almost go through and manually select each of the devices. There was no
guidance or no commonality in giving of names or anything in that
regard. That is one of the weaknesses right now where they didn't
transfer what they really knew from NPRDS over to the development of
When I tried to identify these components, it says, well,
use this name here. When you see an asterisk in front of these names,
these were the names of application coded components in NPRDS. There is
a lot of guidance given for those. I dumped out all these things. I'd
do a search in pumps and some of these names in the system and they
would get dumped out.
You would find, like in the auxiliary feedwater system, we
would have a component with three names. One would be auxiliary
feedwater pump with an asterisk in front of it. Another one would be
the auxiliary/emergency feedwater turbine driven pump. Then you would
have the utilities identify. I have no problem with that.
But then there were some down here where you would only have
like the east train auxiliary feedwater motor driven. That was the
plant-specific name, but there was no way for me to easily identify
So EPIX started out with a lot of problems and they have
been moving along and they are doing a lot better in this regard.
So these slides here are the systems and the components that
we have initially identified to load. You can look at them in your
leisure. There is no need in going over all of those.
MR. BARANOWSKY: In essence, what Dale is identifying is the
population groups that we can calculate parameters for. As he says, if
we can't differentiate among the populations, then we have to by brute
force figure out what records go in and don't go into a population,
which is way too time-consuming.
MR. RASMUSON: When we did our first real load of the data I
literally had to go through and give Idaho the device numbers. I
literally dumped stuff out into spreadsheets and went through and sorted
and said, all right, load these device numbers.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You say on slide 3 that for RADS you are
estimating plant-specific quantities. That means that for D.C. Cook you
are going to have unavailability of auxiliary feedwater pumps?
MR. RASMUSON: Right.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is there also an effort to have a generic
distribution that reflects plant to plant variability?
MR. RASMUSON: Yes. That comes out of your empirical Bayes
Slide 9. We received a sample set of EPIX data in September
We received our first full set in May of 1999, and I
described some of the problems that we had with that. A lot of the
demand data was not complete. We find a lot of different things.
For the SSPI systems, we find that is very complete. In
some of their categories they have what they call "estimated" and
"observed. If you look at the SSPI systems, almost everything in that
is observed. It is reported on a quarterly basis and it is very good
Some of the others we have, where it is estimated we get
tests and non-tests. Sometimes they give us by that; sometimes they
give us total. You may dump out all the demands there and you look and
you say, well, 90 percent of the plants reported this way, and you
always have these few outliers that reported in different ways. So we
have these type of problems that we are still working with to help get
it so that it is better.
We updated a set of data in August. We used that in our
beta testing. It went through beta testing here at the agency.
We received a November set of data, and we are in the
process now of loading that data into RADS and making our final
modifications from our beta test.
We expect to receive data on a quarterly basis. We will
update the data on our server here at the NRC. Because the data is
proprietary, it is not available to the public.
This next year we plan to add additional capabilities to
RADS. We are going to add our initiating event data. Because the
algorithms are there, all you have to do is just add the data. So from
the initiating event studies that we have done we will load that data in
there so RADS can become a tool for use in calculating frequencies for
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If a graduate student somewhere wants to
use plant-specific uncertainty distributions, he doesn't have access to
MR. RASMUSON: He really does not have access to them.
MR. BARANOWSKY: But we are going to make certain aspects of
the reliability and availability parameters available. That we can do.
What we can't make available is the raw data in EPIX.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's why I referred to the
MR. BARANOWSKY: I think the distributions will probably be
MR. RASMUSON: We have to work that out with INPO as we go
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: On a plant-specific basis?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Plant-specific failure rates and
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That would be extremely valuable.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes, and they can be updated almost
quarterly just by pushing a button.
MR. BONACA: Clearly you are taking raw data mostly from
EPIX. Then you are calculating a number of parameters here. You are
feeding them back to the industry. It is important for the plants to
know what conclusions you are drawing.
MR. RASMUSON: Right. The industry will have access to this
MR. BONACA: I think more than access. You are going to
draw conclusions. You are taking data and you are pulling out certain
functions from that. So I imagine there should be feedback to the power
plant so they can say, yes, we agree or disagree because. It is also a
way to refine the database.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We have to do that. What we want to do is
end up with the power plant and us using the exact same failure rate and
distribution. We don't want any arguments about that. Let's argue
about philosophy, policy and all that other stuff but not about the
fundamentals of how to calculate reliability.
MR. BONACA: No, I don't mean that. You said before the
information in EPIX is voluntary.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes.
MR. BONACA: There may be only some information that comes
in. You draw conclusions from it and you are putting it to various
functions that you are using to make judgments. I think one way to
change the system from voluntary to almost mandatory is to give it right
to the utility. If there is something that is not correct, they are
going to tell you.
MR. MAYS: That's correct. We have two things on that.
One, we do that with all of our analysis of things that we put out
anyway. We send them out for comment and review to get that.
Secondly, in our memorandum of agreement with INPO for
getting EPIX and other data we have a requirement in there that if we
are using that information as the basis for a regulatory decision, then
we have to share it with them first so they have the opportunity to
comment on that stuff. So that is already a required part of our
memorandum of agreement with INPO on using this kind of data.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We would do that by agreement and just
because it is the right thing to do.
MR. BONACA: It is the right thing to do, but it will really
encourage the operators to send you the information in a complete
fashion because they don't want to be misrepresented by what you
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We will recess until 9:50.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We are back on the record.
MR. MAYS: We are next going to talk about reliability
studies that we have done and recent updates that we have done and that
the ACRS has either seen drafts of or hasn't had a chance to see and
comment on before.
The first slide that we have here is the picture that we
The two things that we are going to talk about today are
recent things associated with system reliability studies and the
component reliability studies. The first ones were issued as a draft a
couple months ago and the second one got signed out yesterday. So we
will share with you the results of those things.
Since some of the members here have not been around since we
came down and originally talked about this, we are going to talk about
our purpose and objectives, what methods we are using to do this stuff,
what the uses and users are in a similar vein to what you saw on the
EPIX slide, and the recent results that we had.
Mainly we are going to be talking about the update studies
for RCIC, HPCI and HPCS, the HPI study, Westinghouse, and the two
component studies that have been recently produced.
This is a slide that the ACRS has seen before. For those of
you who hadn't been here when we did that, we put that up.
We are trying to get the reliability estimates and the
engineering insights for risk-important systems and components and feed
that information into the regulatory process.
We do that by taking actual demands and failures and
unavailability information to estimate that stuff.
We trend them, quantify the uncertainties associated with
those estimates. We take a look at what the PRAs and IPEs are telling
us, and we identify engineering insights and plant-specific differences.
The approach we are doing in this is to identify the system
or component boundaries, look at the information. Primarily in the
system studies this has come out of the LER information.
Characterize it with respect to the nature of the failures
or information that was provided so we can distinguish between technical
inoperabilities, inoperabilities that really do fail the system or
component, and most critical, those cases for which we can count both
the numerator and denominator, because that is what you have to have to
get a representative sample to do your analysis correctly. So we have
work to do in characterizing the data to do that.
Then we use Bayesian techniques to update that information
and determine the variability among the plants an whether there are
plant-specific differences and calculate plant-specific values where
For the system studies we use simple fault trees that are
organized along the lines of pump trains failing to start, failing to
run, valve trains not operating. That is a fairly simple fault tree
level to do that. We do that because that is basically the level to
which we get data. We don't go into the motor versus the pump versus
the breaker, because that is not the level of information we are getting
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You don't get data on the system itself?
MR. MAYS: If we can, we will. What we have seen in most of
the cases is that system level failure data is pretty rare. So you are
basically taking no failures in a few hundred demands, and you can make
a Bayesian estimate for that interval at that level, but we find that we
get more complete information if we break that down into pieces that
represent the system where we have data at that level, and we get a more
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Then what you are doing is what a good PRA
would do. If I were to do an analysis of an HPI, I would collect data
on the component and then do my fault tree analysis.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Except for the fact that we are being very
limited in the use of actual ESF actuations. As opposed to taking all
the data we can find on a circuit breaker or a diode or whatever and
constructing a detailed fault tree to figure out whether this pump will
actuate or not, we are just saying we don't care about all that very low
level information; all we want to know is how many times did it receive
an actuation signal and how many times did it work or not work, and
It is the most direct data we can get. Primarily like a
train level, I guess you would say. So it is a little bit more high
level than almost all the PRAs.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: For example, one issue that comes to mind
is if you have a standby system and you do periodic tests, there is a
probability for human error. How do you handle that? Do you put that
probability in your fault tree?
MR. MAYS: I see your point. I wasn't clear enough. In
general PRA, when you are doing that you are making a fault tree to say
what are all the ways this could fail to meet its function. Then you
see if you have got data to quantify all those different pieces. We are
doing a slightly different cut. We are saying let's go down and see
what the data is at high level and quantify those at that level.
For example, if the issue is a HPCI turbine failing to start
because the steam emission valve was left in the wrong position, if
there was an actual demand for HPCI to start and that valve was left in
the wrong position, it would be in the data. What we are not doing is
going out and saying what is the probability for all plants or for this
plant that somebody will leave that valve in the wrong position.
That is the discrimination in the level of detail that we
are looking at here. So it is covered to the extent that it occurs in
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe the PRAs should start doing it that
MR. MAYS: The real issue about how far you go down in level
of detail is, I think, primarily one of where you have dependencies
between things that would normally get ANDed. When you are doing a HPCI
or system reliability study, you don't need to go down to that level of
detail. If you are going to make a model for the sequence that says
HPCI fails and RCIC fails and you need to know whether or not the power
supplies are the same, then you have to go to a greater level of detail
to do that kind of a calculation. But we are at a higher level in doing
MR. SEALE: How do you guard yourself against the situation
where before you do a test there is a pre-alignment that takes place in
order to make sure you don't upset the plant?
MR. MAYS: That is a good question. The way we look at that
is the following.
First off, we are primarily using actual unplanned demands
as the primary source of the data in these system studies.
In the component studies that are doing we are using test
demands. We go back and segregate that population. We say, is there
something from an engineering or statistical evaluation that says this
data set is different from the other.
Typically, if you are having a pre-initiation, make sure it
works before you test it kind of thing, what you will find is that the
failure rates an the failure probabilities will be dramatically
different there than they would be in the other one. So we do that kind
of test before we make a decision on whether or not to combine those
sets of data.
We look at it from both a statistical point of view as well
as our understanding of the engineering of those things. We will call
people up if we think there is a problem and say, do you guys pre-warm
this thing or pre-lube this? We will find out, and we will call the
resident up and say, do they do that? He'll go, well, no. Okay.
That is part of what we do in trying to evaluate what is the
right combination of data to put together.
It is one of the reasons why we had to have things broken
out separately in EPIX about tests and demands, so that we could make
that test and see whether or not there was a difference in performance.
MR. BARANOWSKY: What we don't want to do, by the way, is
tell people to do things different to make their equipment reliable just
so they can get good data. What we would rather do is treat the
information correctly in analysis.
There was some issue one time about whether they should do
almost destructive testing on HPCI systems to get valid data. I said,
wait a minute. That doesn't make any sense. We are not trying to say
that is the purpose of this. What we are saying is just describe
accurately what the data is an then through the models we will account
for it correctly.
MR. MAYS: That same issue came up on cold fast starts of
diesel generators years ago.
The next couple of slides are similar to the ones you saw
before when we talked about reliability studies, uses and users, what
activities we are doing, where those would be used in different groups
I don't think there is a need to go over that in much
detail, but that is just kind of the process we have been using when we
go and talk to industry and other people about why are you doing this
stuff and why do you need what data you need. This kind of gives them
the road map to see where those things get used.
The last piece that I am going to talk about right now is a
little summary of the previous things that we had seen and shown the
This is a slide we put together. As my pilot friends would
say, it is a target-rich environment. It has a lot of information about
what we have done, but I think it's a pretty good summary. You can see
the systems and studies that we have done, the unreliability that we
have calculated --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The unavailability.
MR. MAYS: That's exactly the problem. You're correct.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What does it mean? This is the
probability that what happens?
MR. MAYS: This is the probability that the particular train
or system or component will not perform its safety function when
required over its mission time. This takes into account it wasn't
available at the time the demand occurred.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. BARANOWSKY: It's availability and reliability for the
MR. MAYS: And it takes into account the probability it
would fail on demand and it takes into account the probability it would
fail before it was needed.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So it's a combination of both.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Right. I think I am agreeing with you more
and more about this white paper.
MR. UHRIG: Is that a per-unit time number?
MR. MAYS: It's per demand.
MR. UHRIG: Without reference to how many demands there
might be per year or per lifetime of the plant?
MR. MAYS: It's on a per-demand basis. So we calculate
based on how many demands existed and how many failures there were and
what the probability of failure was per demand.
MR. SEALE: One out of 14 times it doesn't work.
MR. MAYS: The point you are making is, well, how often do
you demand it? How often you demand it is the other piece of the risk
equation. What you see on here is we have also given you an indication
in a simple arrow format here of what the unplanned demand rate and
trend has been.
The specifics of what the values are in the reports, but
what you can see is that for everything except the isolation condenser,
which doesn't get a lot of demands and there aren't very many of them
around, all of our studies have shown significantly decreasing demand
frequency for these systems to be called to do their jobs.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What misled me a little bit is the third
column, which implies that it is only the demands that count. It is
really the demands plus the operational time. I don't know what kind of
column you need there to indicate that, but there was a period of time
when the system was supposed to work and it actually didn't work. If I
see only demands, then my mind goes to unavailability.
There is no obvious way of stating it, but it is something
to think about. That is when you come back to part of your point: Is
it a regulatory requirement of operating for so long or the actual time?
MR. BARANOWSKY: This is really mission unreliability.
Maybe that is what we should call it.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's right.
Now 0.07 is kind of high, isn't it?
MR. UHRIG: That is what was bugging me too.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It says PRAs report three times lower
numbers. That would be 0.02.
MR. MAYS: That's right.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What are your uncertainty bounds here?
MR. MAYS: I don't have those in this particular slide
because we are trying to convey a lot of general information, but that
information is in the report. I think we may have that in here.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I am wondering whether the PRA uncertainty
bounds is broader.
MR. MAYS: The answer is you will see in the results
summaries the uncertainty we associated with our calculation. Where we
were able to get information out of the PRA about their failure
probabilities and uncertainties we plotted those together. So you can
see how much overlap there is, how much they are not, and where the
areas are where there are differences.
What we found in different system studies is sometimes the
operating experience indicates the PRA information is optimistic and
sometimes we find that the PRA information is pessimistic. We think our
job here is to say what does the operating experience say.
Another key point is that we have been comparing information
in these studies so far to what was in the IPE submittals. The IPE
submittals are a bit old and people may have updated that information,
and so it is not exactly clear how much those reflect the current risk
evaluations that we would be doing now and might be using in the
We did this merely to be able to show where generally those
things were falling with respect to the IPEs versus what we were seeing
in these, and we may not even be doing that in the future, because we
don't have direct access to all the PRAs that exist out there anymore.
Plants have updated their IPEs, and they are not required to share that
with us unless they have a particular application where they put it on
So it had value to make those kinds of comparisons when we
were first starting out this study process. It may not have the same
value and we may end up dropping that in the future as part of the
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: One of the issues that is important here
is plant-to-plant variability. As you probably know, this committee
issued a letter several months ago, or a year perhaps, urging the
oversight process to use plant-specific indicators rather than generic.
Your work will be very valuable in deciding that.
You have concluded that for the BWR systems there isn't
really significant plant-to-plant variability in their HPCI and so on,
but for the HPI there is a slight difference between the slide and the
report. You say there is some variability among HPI designs. Yet in
the report you make a big deal out of it. You consider six different
configurations and you say the results differ by a factor of 50. That
is stronger than what you have in the slide.
That is something that is very valuable, in my view. I
think you should make a big deal out of it. In other words, in your
presentations maybe you need another column or another transparency
where you address this issue.
There are certain advantages to using generic indicators,
although I would question whether they are generic. If you come with
this kind of analysis, then I would still say you are using
plant-specific unavailabilities, but they happen to be the same because
that is what the analysis showed.
In the case of the high pressure safety injection, I think
the report is very clear that there are different designs out there,
different unavailabilities. So the oversight process has to take that
MR. MAYS: I think we are in agreement with that. We will
see as part of the things when we get to the risk-based PIs what we are
proposing to do is to make the indicators and their associated
thresholds more plant specific.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Speaking of language, for the diesels you
say "failed to run." That is language that may confuse people. You
mean failure while running.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Correct.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The white paper should clarify this.
Failure to run may be also unavailability, but most people mean failure
MR. MAYS: Yes. What we mean is failures that occur after
it successfully started. In this case we found that the operating
experience information indicated that the failure to run probabilities
or failure rates that were being used in PRAs, especially those who had
a 24-hour mission time, were causing an overestimate of the probability
of failure due to the failure to run part of the mission than what we
were seeing in the actual operating experience. If it comes out
pessimistic, it's pessimistic; if it comes out optimistic, it's
optimistic, and we just try and lay it out and say what it is and why it
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So there are no arrows pointing up there,
which is good, right?
MR. MAYS: Right.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It is in general agreement with the
perception that things are improving.
Have you presented this to the Commissioners at any time?
MR. MAYS: Presenting this?
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean these kinds of studies. Are the
Commissioners aware of this?
MR. MAYS: We haven't been to the Commission on this on any
of our programs like this since probably 1995, although we did talk to
them about this kind of information extensively through the reliability
and availability data rule issues.
MR. BARANOWSKY: It also was reported in the last AEOD
annual report. But now there is no AEOD anymore. So we are discussing
with NRR what should be sort of the industry report card, if you will,
on a generic basis to describe how things are going that the Commission
and managers can point to, that is somewhat independent and objective in
terms of describing trends.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is extremely valuable information in
the effort to risk-inform Part 50. The staff now is struggling with how
to handle defense in depth and all that stuff, and I understand the
report this committee wrote on defense in depth is being used by the
staff where you say you follow a pragmatic approach; things that you can
quantify you handle a certain way; things you can't do invoke defense in
When we define things that we don't quantify, I think this
kind of information would be extremely valuable. For example, this
doesn't include fires. But I don't have to worry about the error we
discussed earlier because that is in here. So I don't need defense in
This would be extremely valuable. I think the Commission
should know about this work.
MR. SEALE: George, earlier the comment was made they don't
expect us to write a letter.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe we should.
MR. SEALE: Maybe we should.
At the time the reorganization took place and AEOD was
vaporized, we expressed a concern to the Commissioners about the loss of
the objectivity that was one of the hallmarks of the AEOD activity and
the concern for integrating that into the user. There are adverse
effects both from the NRR side and from the Research side for
integrating those activities that were pulled apart and emplaced in
those two places.
So maybe it is appropriate that we sensitize them to the
fact that they ought to go back and look now at what they have done.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe at the end of the day we can go
around the table and see how the members feel. If we start writing a
letter, will it be only praise?
MR. MAYS: There is a first time for everything, George.
MR. MAYS: Since we have a lot of information to present as
we go through this --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: There is plenty of time today.
MR. MAYS: I just wanted to make sure that we are mindful of
The meeting we had yesterday with NRR, that was one of the
issues that they were very concerned about, because they were trying to
wrestle with how they were going to be reporting information to the
Commission and other people about what was going on. They were very
interested in what we were doing. They said that that looked like
something that might be useful to them. At least at a lower staff level
up through division directors between the oversight folks in NRR and our
division and Research there is that communication going on.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think a letter from us would also help a
MR. BARANOWSKY: We don't have a forum to present this
information other than just popping the reports out.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe we should write a letter.
MR. SEALE: Yes.
MR. MAYS: With that, we have several pieces that are going
to be presented by people who have worked on this activity.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: People were talking about unavailability
of safety systems on the order of 10 to the minus 3, 10 to the minus 5,
as I remember, and you guys have demolished that. It would be on the
order of 10 to the minus 2.
MR. MAYS: The 10 to the minus 2's are for the single train
systems. As you look down on your chart there, you will see that the
AFW and HPI --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I'm sorry. These are single trains.
MR. MAYS: The first four up here are single train
information. The ones for AFW, HPCI, RPS are multiple train systems,
and you can see that.
As a matter of fact, the GE RPS values that we calculated
from our data and information actually ended up being lower than what
most people were using, which was the old NUREG-0460 values or 3 10 to
the minus 5 or 1 10 to the minus 5, depending on the case. In the case
of the GE RPS we came out with lower information.
In the Westinghouse RPS we came out with a little bit higher
than what some other people are doing.
So it changes and varies, depending on the particular system
that we were looking at.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's important, Steve. I think you
should put it in the slide someplace.
MR. BONACA: Yes. This slide is somewhat confusing.
MR. MAYS: It's right over here.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What did you say? I'm sorry, Mario. Go
MR. BONACA: When you talk HPI, that is high pressure
injection for boilers?
MR. MAYS: No. HPI is high pressure injection for PWRs.
Since we had so many different trains and configurations, that number is
the arithmetic average of all of them. There is a range from the two
train systems to the three train systems to the ones that were actually
in fact four train systems.
MR. BONACA: For the high pressure coolant injection in the
first row, what is your system performance?
MR. MAYS: That is the system performance for that. That is
HPCI system failure to operate on demand.
MR. BARANOWSKY: It's a single train system.
MR. MAYS: Right.
MR. SEALE: There have got to be some doozies in there if
that is the arithmetic average.
MR. BONACA: The reason is the valve cycles, right?
MR. MAYS: The injection valve failure to open or injection
valve failures associated with subsequent recycle was the dominant
contributor in the HPCI study.
MR. BONACA: That supports again the statement that George
made before, that it's a high number.
MR. SEALE: Yes. There are some doozies in there.
MR. BONACA: If you compare it down to the HPI for PWRs, it
is a huge difference.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Some of the failure modes that we observed
were not modeled in the IPEs or PRAs on some of these successive
restarts of the systems or some of the dependencies on the water sources
and things like that. I don't know why. I'm just telling you we found
failures that existed that weren't in the PRA models.
MR. MAYS: There are a couple of key ones that I think were
that way. The isolation condenser value was pretty consistent with what
the PRAs had, but the PRAs said the reason isolation condensers failed
was because the condensate return line valve wouldn't open. Well, all
the failures we observed in the operating experience had nothing to do
with the condensate return valve failing to open; they had everything to
do with these things spuriously isolating on bogus signals once they
were started up. So we found similar probability of failure but
completely different causes.
In the AFW system one of the dominant contributors was the
fact that we did have events in the operating experience where the
suction source to the CST failed. We had one event. In addition, when
they shifted over to the alternate supply source of service water, it
had zebra mussels in it, and it clogged up the flow control valve.
So we found those kinds of common-cause failure experiences
in the analysis, and they are incorporated in that information.
MR. BONACA: The question I have is, given that you find
these variations or assumptions, how much would that affect the CDF that
you have per those IPEs? Do you have any sense of that?
MR. BARANOWSKY: I don't think it affects it too much. As
Steve said, for some reason they are getting pretty much similar
The thing that we find interesting is that we are taking
insights from these IPEs to make decisions on inspections and other
regulatory decisions which are not necessarily matching up with what you
would get if you put some of the insights from the operating experience
On the RPS system, for instance, I think we found different
contributors to be the important dominant contributors now. Because we
have spent a lot of time fixing up the reactor trip breakers, they are
not the dominant contributors anymore.
MR. BONACA: Is it because the plant used plant-specific
information for the IPEs, or is it because some of the plants used in
fact the generic as a basis?
MR. MAYS: We are not able to tell that from the information
we have for these studies.
MR. BONACA: It would be interesting to know.
MR. MAYS: What we are trying to do is point out where we
see differences and what the nature of the differences are. So if there
is a regulatory application that relies on something about that
performance, people will know what it is and have the opportunity to go
and ask that question.
MR. SEALE: Again, this is IPE data, not anything that they
have done since then to upgrade the plant. So it is at least 8 or 10
MR. MAYS: That's correct. But that is the source of our
information in many cases for risk-informing inspections.
MR. SEALE: Yes, but it has got moss on it.
MR. BONACA: And that is the basis for the CDF.
MR. MAYS: That is why it is important to go and look at
operating experience and say has our recent experience shown us
something different from what we would otherwise be led to believe.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The 0.04 for diesel, is that for a single
MR. MAYS: Single train.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You have to make that clear.
I remember the reactor safety study had 0.02. Pretty good,
considering when they did it.
MR. MAYS: That is an interesting topic all by itself. I
find myself continually amazed on various different occasions with some
of the key insights and things that were in the reactor safety study
that continue to be valid today even given the limited data and other
information that was available to them at the time.
I think the important point there is you can do analysis and
you can do information with the best you have available. The important
thing is to continue at some interval to go back and ask yourself is
this still true or do I have better and more appropriate information.
That is what we are trying to do.
Without further ado on that, the next set --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The last column. Do you want to explain
the last column?
MR. MAYS: We went back and looked at the unreliabilities of
these systems or trains that we were calculating to see whether or not
the older plants had higher, lower or whatever unreliability as compared
to the newer plants. This has been a continuing issue with the agency,
with license renewal and other stuff.
The question is, is aging causing problems that we have to
be aware of? The information we have been able to see so far is we are
not detecting any increases in the failure probabilities for the older
plants versus the newer plants over the time window for which we are
In order to do a really thorough job of that you would have
to go back and collect everything from day one to there and map out all
of that stuff, and we don't have that level of information. So what we
do is say for the 10 or 12 year period that we have data, is there any
information there that says older plants are performing worse than newer
plants? So far we are not detecting anything.
MR. UHRIG: This is probably better data than you would have
if you went all the back because it reflects what the situation is
MR. MAYS: If you go farther back and do that kind of
analysis, you obviously have the problem that some of the old data may
not be applicable to now because changes since then. You're right.
There is a certain amount of benefit in doing it at this level.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You may even find that there is a trend
MR. MAYS: In some cases we found trends like that. For
example, in the AFW study we found in some cases actuation were higher
at new plants with AFW. Part of that is because in the newer designs of
systems AFW actuates more frequently than some of the older plants.
There may have been manual actuations. For example, the old Yankee Rowe
plant didn't have automatic AFW actuation.
So there can be differences. Some of it can be the newer
plants are having greater experiences because of the learning curve of
the startup period.
The point is we can go back and look at the information and
say is there something in here that tells us that this information about
the unreliability of the systems, trains or components is changing in
time. If you postulate that aging is occurring and that it is
significant, then we should be seeing these things change. We don't
have the information to say aging isn't happening. We do have the
information here to say aging mechanisms by whatever means are not
happening enough and sufficiently enough to cause these things to change
based on what we can see so far.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Or the existing problems at the plants are
taken care of better as aging is occurring.
MR. SEALE: There is another column you might want to put on
the right end of that chart at some point. If people have gone through
and updated their IPE results and have gotten what they claim to be a
more robust number, how that compares with the number over here in the
MR. MAYS: On a couple of occasions when we found some
significant differences we went back and asked. Say if you are either
significantly higher or lower. We called the plants up and said, we got
this value out of your IPE and it is either significantly higher or
significantly lower than what we are seeing. Can you shed any light on
What we have had on those occasions is people come back and
say, well, that number has been updated and here is the new number based
on our latest ones, and we incorporate that when we have those kinds of
We haven't gone back and verified every single one of those.
So what we have been doing is taking the exception approach. If we have
something significantly outside, then we call up and say, is this still
something that is valid?
We also have had plants call us. When the first HPCI study
came out and one of the plants was identified as being significantly
lower in their PRA than what we were estimating, they called us up and
said, why is that? We discussed it, and they said maybe they ought to
go back and update their stuff.
So there is some communication along that line.
MR. SEALE: Steve, earlier I made the comment that if the
HPCI arithmetic average is .07 there has to be a doozy or two in there.
You can't get away from that. In connection with this idea of
uncertainty you would almost like to know in parentheses what the
maximum value was.
MR. MAYS: We have in the report the distribution associated
with that. In the case of HPCI, in the operating experience evaluation
we didn't see really significant differences among the plants for
operating experience. What we found was differences between what was
reported in the PRAs and what we are seeing in the operating experience.
MR. SEALE: Sure. That's what I meant.
MR. MAYS: So there are two cases where you could have
"doozies." One is an outlier that is affecting your arithmetic average
or something like that. The other one is there is no variability in the
operating experience but there is variability from what we see in PRAs.
We try to call both of those out whenever we have them in the report.
It's just a lot more detail than I can put in this slide.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You are going to explain the arithmetic
average business sometime?
MR. MAYS: I can explain that to you for the plants that
have done it right now. For the plants where we had multiple systems
design classes, AFW, HPI, and the RPS -- excuse me. AFW and HPI are the
only two on here where that represents that arithmetic average. The
other ones represent the overall system performance.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let's say for the HPI you have six
classes. Then you develop your value for overall reliability.
MR. MAYS: Not quite.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I thought that's what it said in the
report, that the arithmetic average eliminates the plant-to-plant
MR. MAYS: We were struggling for a way to come up with
something that was an overall indicator of the whole package without
saying HPI-1, -2, -6 has this value. The report has each one of those
groups. What happened was the HPI reliability was first evaluated at a
group level and it was determined if there was variability within the
group. So there is a value for each one of those HPI classes. Then we
have an arithmetic average of what the value was once we put that model
together for all the classes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If I have six classes, there are six
MR. MAYS: Right. Add them up and divide by six.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You don't weigh them by the number of
plants that have class 1?
MR. MAYS: No.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Wouldn't that be better?
MR. MAYS: I'm not sure. It might.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: In the extreme case, say you have 50
plants, class 1, and then one in each other, it would be misleading.
But I think in the report it wasn't very clear. You talk about the
arithmetic average being down at a lower level, which I disagree with.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The reason for doing that arithmetic
average originally was we wanted to have some sort of a gross indicator.
I don't care what the system looks like and how many system failures
were there. We said let's come up with some metric that we can make a
comparison with and see if we are in the ball park, and we take our more
detailed models an compare them to that grossest and most true measure.
That's what it was for.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: In other words, agreement with people who
doing an empirical Bayes analysis, whereas instead of plant to plant you
have class to class. That is easy to do.
MR. BONACA: I have a question. For one system, if I read
the report correctly, core spray, the unreliability was dominated by
maintenance out of service for the system. Are you going to talk about
what you are learning from these studies?
MR. MAYS: What we tried to do in looking at the insights on
each one of these things was when we send the reports out saying this is
what the failure probability was and these were the dominant
contributors. We haven't gone back and made an analysis that says how
much is maintenance out of service varying for different systems and
what its contribution is. We haven't done that. Our focus so far has
been what is the operating experience, what are the dominant
contributors to the operating experience, what is causing it to be what
it is. We haven't done that kind of a check.
MR. BONACA: I understand. It is impressive to me that this
is voluntary actions that are resulting in that kind of unavailability.
I am trying to understand. These are lessons that we will have to learn
and look at, particularly because the maintenance rule has been changed
to allow on-line maintenance.
MR. MAYS: Part of what is required in the new version of
(a)(4) is they have to go back and do that balancing of how much their
maintenance activities are contributing to the reliability and taking
away on the other side from the availability.
MR. BONACA: I certainly was surprised that it's 71 percent.
MR. MAYS: In actuality HPCS is only for a few plants.
There are not that many demands for HPCS. I think the number was
somewhere in the ball part of 60 or 70. What we had was the only real
failure of HPCS system to inject on a real demand was due to the fact
that it was out of service when the demand came. That's why it
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is there a NUREG report containing all the
insights and discussion we have had in the last half an hour?
MR. MAYS: No, there isn't. We have discussions about if
there is something we need to do in the long term for the future to
collect insights and put that kind of information together for people.
Right now we have been trying to get the initial studies done and get
the first updates and then work with our counterparts in NRR to say how
do we do that. This is part of the conversation about what do we tell
people about trends and things. That has been something we have been
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The memo that we discussed earlier begins
to do that.
MR. MAYS: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But I think it would be nice to put
something more formal in. There is a lot of information here. And
maybe think about implications to Part 50 an all that. Now you just
have only two or three lines on each. But this is, I think, very
MR. MAYS: I think what George is saying is have something
that kind of brings into one central place what the overall implications
of what we are seeing from the operating experience is and what the
potential implications of that are.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Like what the slide does.
MR. MAYS: We did something like that to a limited extent in
the AEOD annual reports. We can look at that. When you write your
letter to the Commission you can also ask for some more resources so we
can do that. The one thing I don't need is more tasks with less
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This would also be a nice conference
paper. This is very useful information.
MR. MAYS: I will hand that off to my conference paper
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe with the same resources we can do
one less report on a specific system.
MR. MAYS: I understand your point. I think that is an
important point. We started out in the very beginning when designing
this program saying these are insights that can be important to the
agency, and that is something we can take a look at, at the value and
what it would take to do that and what the impacts of doing that are. I
think we can at least take a look at it.
MR. SEALE: In this day of limited resources I think it is
very important that when you make a promise, if you will, to the
institution, whatever that is, you need to then document the delivery on
that promise if you can. You don't have to not have failures to do the
exact job you promised, but you can't have too many. Where you have
successes, I think it is important that they are aware of the fact that
you have had successes.
MR. MAYS: Okay.
The next person who is going to be talking to you is Sunil
Weerakkody. He is going to talk about the update studies on the three
BWR systems as well as the HPI system results, after which Hossein
Hamzehee will be up to talk about the RPS studies and the component
MR. WEERAKKODY: I am going to be speaking about four system
The first one is reactor core isolation cooling system
update we just finished and sent out for peer review.
MR. SEALE: Who is your reviewer?
MR. WEERAKKODY: The reports are sent out to NRR. We send
them out to the regions; we send them out to the SRAs; also, we send
them out to external peers such as INPO, EPRI, owners group.
MR. SEALE: Do you send any to utilities that have
particularly high profile PRA groups?
MR. WEERAKKODY: No, we don't.
For this system, from 29 boiling water reactors we had 169
unplanned demands, 1084 quarterly tests, and 266 cyclic tests.
36 system failures were observed during total of 1519
demands; 6 failures were recovered.
The unreliability with recovery for the system was 0.03,
with a range of 0.007 to 0.07. That is for a mission time of less than
For mission time greater than 15 minutes it is 0.06, with
the range specified.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What do you mean by 6 failures were
MR. WEERAKKODY: When we encounter failures, we go in and
look at from the LER whether the failure was recovered or was
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: By when?
MR. BARANOWSKY: To satisfy the mission.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That then would count as success?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Did you find that these 6 recovered
failures were in mission times of longer than 15 minutes?
MR. WEERAKKODY: I don't have the detail on that for these
particular 6 recoveries. When we read the LER, we know the mission time
we are looking at. From the details we make a determination whether or
not the failure was recovered or was recoverable during that mission
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is how you did it. The important
thing is the insights. If you come back an say all 6 failures were
recovered when the mission was longer than 15 minutes, that is
consistent with the analysis does these days. But if you say, no, 3 of
them were in the less than 15 minute mission time, that is a very
MR. UHRIG: What is the "one was MOOS"?
MR. WEERAKKODY: One failure was due to maintenance out of
MR. UHRIG: Okay. The acronym threw me.
MR. WEERAKKODY: In terms of the dominant contributors to
unreliability for this system, it was failure to start other than
injection valve. Failure to run. This is for the short-term mission.
For the longer run mission, it was failure to start and
failure to restart.
The nature of failures from the surveillance testing was
similar to failures observed during unplanned demand.
This slide shows the different trends we investigated and
observed. The unplanned demand rate for RCIC is trending down. The
failure rate is trending down.
When we look at the unreliability --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Excuse me. There is a question from the
audience. You will have to come closer. Identify yourself first.
MR. CHRISTIE: I'm Bop Christie, Performance Technology.
Could you go back to your last slide, please.
On this slide, of the 169 unplanned demands, I assume the
one that is maintenance out of service is during the unplanned demand,
right? How many other failures out of that 169 are failures to start or
failures to run?
MR. WEERAKKODY: I don't have the exact number, but I can
look it up.
MR. MAYS: It's in the report as to which ones those were,
but we don't have that readily handy here.
MR. CHRISTIE: If you say -- I assume the unreliability
means total failures for some X hours of run time, maybe 30 minutes if
they run it 30 minutes or 2 hours if they run it 2 hours, et cetera. I
would be interested in how many of the 169 failed and see if it matches
with the overall, which is 0.03. I need one more failure of the 169 to
get up to about 0.03. If I don't have it, that means my real demands
are less than what I am doing with surveillances and everything.
MR. MAYS: As we spoke earlier, when we looked at the cyclic
tests, which are very similar to unplanned demand, and we looked at the
quarterly tests, we took a look at the nature of the tests and the
statistics associated with those and determined that those were poolable
The question you are really asking is, is there something
about unplanned demands that would be different from quarter tests? The
answer is we looked at that before we pooled the data, and that
information is in the report.
MR. CHRISTIE: Okay.
MR. WEERAKKODY: We also looked at whether RCIC
unreliability is showing any trend either by age or by calendar year.
For those two cases we did not see statistically significant trends.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So we would call this one now mission
MR. BARANOWSKY: The white paper is going to have all this
terminology squared away.
MR. WEERAKKODY: For insights, as I mentioned earlier, the
unplanned demand rate and the failure rate is decreasing.
We do not see any significant variation in reliability or
failure rates due to the age of the plant.
Differences between the plants were very small.
Contribution to unreliability --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Speaking of that, there is a sentence here
in the memo, which you are not responsible for, because it is on Mr.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes, we are.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It says on page 4, "the differences
between plants were small and not risk significant."
I don't understand what he means by "and not risk
significant." I would have put a period after "small."
MR. MAYS: We could have done that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. SEALE: I would have been less risky.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: How can the differences be small and yet
be risk significant?
MR. MAYS: They can.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Then the whole thing is risk significant.
MR. MAYS: You're right, George.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let's say that the average on the mission
unavailability is 0.06 and the thing is very risk significant. Then
there is very small variability. For one plant it is 0.07; 0.07 cannot
be risk significant and 0.06 not risk significant.
MR. MAYS: It was a gratuitous add-on which we will not do
in the future.
MR. WEERAKKODY: Leading component failures. Contribution
to unreliability not the result of failure of a specific component type.
Testing was the predominant or major detection method or the
most effective method.
One-third of all failures were immediately identified.
The injection valve was not tested in the same stress
environment as during an unplanned demand.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let me understand this "were immediately
identified. One-third of all failures were immediately identified.
What do you mean by that?
MR. MAYS: We looked at the failures in the database. As we
said before we had all the failures and we had the failures for which we
have associated demands to calculate reliability. We looked back to
look for engineering insights for all the failures whether they were
part of that calculation or not. What we found was that about one-third
of the failures were immediately self-revealing, so that two-thirds of
the failures of all the failures that occurred would have to have waited
until a subsequent test or other demand for people to understand the
system or the component was in a failed state.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Immediately revealing in what way? Is
this a standby system?
MR. MAYS: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So how do they know?
MR. MAYS: I can't give you the specifics on those
individual ones, but I believe that information is in the report.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is very important, in my view,
because in a PRA we don't do this. The PRA would say if it's a standby
system, you calculate the average unavailability. If it fails, it stays
down until the next test.
MR. MAYS: We are looking at the engineering insight of the
entire population of failures whether or not they are part of that
calculation. From the standpoint of people in NRR and other places who
are in the business of evaluating testing effectiveness and things like
that it is important to know of all the failures you get how many of
them are not going to be revealed until you test them. That was the
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is very important. In the PRA you
assume the total will be unrevealed until the next test. We read those
MR. MAYS: I never doubted that you did.
MR. BONACA: I would like to go back to slide 11. There is
a bullet there that says "plant aging -- no significant variation in
reliability." But really your unreliability is going to be by active
components, right, which are the sort of things that are tested and
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes.
MR. BONACA: So it doesn't tell much about aging really.
Those components are tested and replaced.
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes. The current status of this report is
it just went out for peer review.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe we can take a short break now.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We are back on the record.
MR. WEERAKKODY: For the high pressure coolant injection
system for boiling water reactors we had a total of 1157 demands. That
is coming from 94 unplanned demands, 846 quarter tests and 217 cyclic
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What is MOOS again?
MR. WEERAKKODY: Maintenance out of service. One was
maintenance out of service.
MR. CHRISTIE: Going back to that maintenance out of
service, if there are two trains -- this deals with just a single train?
MR. WEERAKKODY: This is a single train.
MR. CHRISTIE: If you had two trains, you never take both of
them out of service for maintenance. You can have a failure while the
other one is out.
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes.
The main contributors to unreliability was the injection
valve failing to reopen. Then failure to start of the system, and also
maintenance out of service.
One main insight we had from the study is the injection
valve is not tested in the same stress environment. What we mean here
is during actual conditions the parameters, the pressures or the
temperatures or the repeated cycling that the valve would see are not
seen by the valve when it is tested in a controlled environment.
Going to the HPCI trends, it is similar to --
MR. CHRISTIE: Could you put the last slide back up again.
If I look at RCIC versus HPCI, you got fewer whatevers because your BWRs
probably use core spray in the mechanical instead of the turbine.
That's fine. There is something that is in mind is way out of whack
here. You have 169 unplanned demands in RCIC and only 94 on HPCI. Both
of them are low level, level 2 generally.
MR. WEERAKKODY: That's right.
MR. CHRISTIE: If you get low level, you are going to get
both RCIC and HPCI, aren't you?
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes. You are going to start both HPCI and
RCIC on unplanned demand. The difference is when both start pumping and
when the level recovers either automatically or through operating
intervention, you turn them off and try to work with feedwater, and if
you can't work with feedwater to keep the level up, rather than using
HPCS you use RCIC. As a result, you are going to see more demand for
RCIC. In RCIC we demand restart.
MR. CHRISTIE: So you are telling me -- and we used to do
this a lot at some of the plants I was associated with -- what people
are doing is when one level in the reactor vessel is reaching level 2,
both HPCI and RCIC are demanded, but the guys pop off HPCI because it's
5,000 gpm versus 600 gpm.k
MR. WEERAKKODY: That's exactly right.
MR. CHRISTIE: So that explains the difference in the
unplanned demands. Thank you.
The next is this 13 failures and a 0.07 versus 0.03. That's
more than I've seen -- that's double what I used to consider RCIC and
HPCI just about the same as far as probability of start, probability of
running type of things. Are you telling me -- I think your previous
RCIC and HPCI studies are in that ball park. Have we changed it
recently in this update?
MR. MAYS: I'm not sure what your question is, Bob. If you
look at the previous slide, you will find that there were 36 system
failures for RCIC, 46 for HPCI. The 13 has to do with the number of
those failures that were immediately recoverable.
MR. CHRISTIE: That's right. I was reading the wrong one.
You have got fewer boilers because you are cutting them off;
you have got fewer demands, the 1157 versus the 1519, but you have got
46 system failures versus 36, which to me -- and then your total
unreliability is the 0.07 versus the 0.03 on RCIC. That's significant,
MR. MAYS: We're saying it is basically about a factor of 2;
HPCI is a factor of 2 less reliable under the unplanned demands and
associated restarts than we have seen in the operating experience. How
significant that is depends on what your definition of "significant" is.
HPCI is certainly a system that has larger capacities,
inertia, and more complicated starting and running factors than the RCIC
system does. I'm not sure that is terribly surprising.
MR. CHRISTIE: I don't think I've seen it before. Maybe my
memory is gone and I'm getting older and it is not there anymore.
MR. MAYS: I don't know. All I'm saying is this is what we
found, and whatever it is is what it is.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Unfortunately, the actual person who ran
this study for us isn't here. He is out at Idaho, or he would probably
give you the answer. I'm sure it is described if you look at both
reports. We can make both of them available to you if you want to look
We did the same thing we did in the prior studies in terms
of classifying the data and that kind of thing. We didn't change it.
MR. CHRISTIE: This to me just popped out at me, 0.07 versus
0.03. I think I have not seen that before.
MR. MAYS: There was one difference in this update study
from the previous study that was done. The previous study used only the
unplanned demands in the cyclic tests. Because of information we were
able to gather on this update, we also included quarterly tests which
were not in the previous study, which may be the basis for why there is
some difference that you haven't seen before.
MR. CHRISTIE: Okay.
MR. WEERAKKODY: As far as the system trends, the unplanned
demand rate as trended down; the failure rate has trended down; the
unreliability by age or calendar year is not showing a significant
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Which failure rate is this?
MR. MAYS: That is the total number of failures per calendar
year. That includes the ones that were not directly included in the
unreliability calculations. It's the gross number of failures of HPCI
systems per year.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But isn't that the unreliability?
MR. MAYS: No. As you remember, we had three
classifications of failure information. One was technical
inoperabilities. Thing like, we declared it inoperable, submitted an
LER because our surveillance test was late. So we had to declare it
inoperable. That's not really failed, especially if they do the test
and they pass it.
Then there were failures where the system was really in a
condition where it wouldn't have worked, but there was no demand for it.
Then there are failures for which we can say there wa a
failure and we can associate demands. We can count both the numerator
and denominator so we have an unbiased sample.
So the failure rate trend that you see here is taking into
account all the failures and trending them over time.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So which one includes the actual demand?
MR. MAYS: The unreliability.
MR. WEERAKKODY: The next slide, we pretty much went through
all this except for the fact that again testing was the major detection
The draft report is out for peer review.
HPCS train. Unlike HPCI, these also are boiling water
reactor systems. However, it is run by a diesel train rather than a
When we counted demands, we counted them separately.
In terms of unplanned demands, there were 43 for the
injection train and 51 for the train that supports the HPCS.
MR. MAYS: And the HPCS diesel generator does not normally
work unless there is also a loss of offsite power. It is actually a
motor-driven pump train but it has a diesel generator backup power
supply that only supplies this train. It's a source of power if you
have a loss of offsite power. We were looking at that diesel, which is
a little different than the normal station diesels, as part of the
MR. UHRIG: This is a relatively small unit?
MR. MAYS: Yes. It's typically about a third or so the size
of the station diesels.
MR. UHRIG: Is this peculiar to BWRs?
MR. MAYS: This is a peculiarity of BWR-6's, which do not
have a HPCI system. They have a RCIC and a HPCS.
MR. BARANOWSKY: So the injection train is the motor and all
the injection valves and everything, and the EDG train is just a diesel
generator that supplies power to the motor.
MR. UHRIG: That is only when you have lost offsite power?
MR. WEERAKKODY: That's right.
Out of a total of 497 demands, we have 5 injection train
failures, one maintenance out of service and one of those failures were
We observed 2 EDG trains, including one maintenance out of
service, during a total of 121 demands.
Unreliability was 0.06 with a range of 0.01 to 0.1.
The contribution to unreliability is maintenance out of
The nature of failures from the surveillance testing was
similar to failures during unplanned demands.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Wait a minute. What unplanned demand
failures were there? I must be confused.
MR. WEERAKKODY: This gives us 2 EDG train failures and 5
injection train failures.
MR. MAYS: What this is saying is we went back looked at the
failures associated with surveillance testing, and the nature of those
as compared to failures that were associated with unplanned demands were
MR. BARANOWSKY: I'm just saying you had 2 failures. One of
them was maintenance out of service. So that is not really a failure;
that is an out-of-service condition. So you had one failure. The
bullet says the nature of failures from surveillance testing is the same
as unplanned demands.
MR. MAYS: For the injection trains.
MR. BARANOWSKY: For which there were several failures.
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes.
The HPCS unplanned demand rates and HPCS failure rates are
trending down. HPCS unplanned demand rate, there is a statistically
significant trending down. The HPCS failure rate and the system
unreliability and unreliability by age are not showing a statistically
The only thing that I need to mention here is that the
detection method was generally testing of various types, which was the
Again, this report is out for peer review at this time.
High pressure injection. This is for a pressurized water
reactor, high pressure injection or high pressure safety injection.
When we did the study and looked at the unplanned demand
data, we had 224 unplanned demands, and there were no total system
One thing different about this study compared to the
previous studies is that HPI has at least two trains in every PWR. If
only one train failed, we would not see LERs on them.
When we search the LER database, the train failures we
cannot get from the LERs unless there was some other event that made it
through the LER threshold. As a result, you don't see, like you saw in
the previous studies, the quarterly test and the cyclic test included in
the data analysis.
MR. MAYS: That's because if we do a single train test and
it fails without a demand, it is not reportable to the NRC in LERs.
That information would be in EPIX when we get EPIX up and running, but
we are limited with the data density when we have the current situation.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We are saying, correct me if I'm wrong,
that for the 224 unplanned demands single train failures are reportable.
MR. WEERAKKODY: That's right.
MR. MAYS: If there is an actual demand and there is a
failure during that demand, that is reportable. For testing they are
not, unless that demand involves a common-cause failure or fails the
MR. WEERAKKODY: Another thing about HPI is there are
significant differences in terms of design among plants. In terms of
the number of pump trains, there are plants with two pumps; there are
plants with three pumps; there are plants with four pumps.
There are plants that have two high head, meaning they are
capable of injecting at pressures greater than RCS, and two intermediate
head, meaning they inject around 1700 psi.
They differ among themselves because of suction parts,
number of injection parts.
As a result, when we analyze the systems, we analyze them
under six different design classes.
When we looked at the data and modeled up fault trees we
broke up the system into several segments, the suction segment, the pump
train segments, the injection headers, and the cold leg segment.
In the fault trees we used common-cause failures as explicit
basic events, the reason being again these are multiple train systems.
During the study we observed 21 common-cause failure events.
When I say we observed, even though we used for our calculations only
unplanned demand data, since common-cause failures or potential
common-cause failures do get reported through the LERs, we were able to
identify common-cause failures or potential common-cause failures in the
These events were used in the calculations or in the
analysis in a somewhat indirect way in that when we calculated the alpha
factors of the common-cause factor, they came from the common-cause
failures observed during this period.
MR. MAYS: We use the common-cause failure database that you
had seen before which has data from LERs as well as NPRDS. We went back
and looked for occasions of common-cause failure events, which could be
either complete or partial.
We went back and looked at those irrespective of whether a
demand had occurred, because the common-cause failure parameter is
basically the ratio of independent failures to complete failures. So we
used that to give us that parameter. We didn't go back in for each one
of the trains where we had unplanned demand failures and say this is the
common-cause term that would apply to combining those. So it's a little
bit of a hybrid from what you saw before, but we were only using
specifically unplanned demands and reportable tests. It is the
appropriate thing to do when you have a multiple train system.
MR. WEERAKKODY: In terms of segment failures, during the
224 unplanned demands we observed 3 train failures.
In the first one the safety injection actuation signal
failed. In the next one it was a pump that failed to start. In the
third one a motor-operated valve in an injection part failed to open.
This table shows the average unreliability of the six
different design classes here. The one thing that is important to note
here is even though the overall arithmetic average of the 72 plants is
4.5 times 10 minus 4, we had numbers ranging from 6.0 minus 5 to 3.5
times 10 minus 3 among plants.
When interpreting that, I need to make a key point here.
The numbers did not change because of performance. In other words, we
could not be distinguish the performance between one high head train and
another high head train in two different plants only because of the
Obviously the low range, 6.0 minus 5, which is class 6,
these are plants that have 2 intermediate head plants as well as 2 high
head plants. So they have a lot of redundancy. That is why there is a
big difference in the unreliability rather than any plant-specific
In terms of contributors to unreliability and the
engineering insights we can draw them, for design classes with 3 or less
pumps, which includes design classes 1 through 5, the common-cause
failure was the major contributor.
I mentioned earlier there were 21 common-cause failures that
we had found out during this period. They were contributed mainly by
problems with the manifold line. There were cases where the manifold
lines had obstructions. There were cases where manifold line has caused
diversion. Then there were several cases where the suction part to
these pumps had gas binding, which was creating a potential for
We have discussed those in the report as far as engineering
insights so that an inspector, if they have to go look for things, they
will know what the dominant contributors are.
Going into design class 6 -- it's not 2; that is an error
there on the slide -- for those common-cause failure was not the major
contributor mainly because these four trains are not only redundant,
they were also diverse. As a result, the dominant contributor was the
common part, which is the part that is combing from the RWST suction.
In terms of plants, when we compared the numbers we
generated with the PRAs and IPEs, there was general agreement except for
design class 6. Again, this is the classic 2 high head and 2
We did investigate why this difference is there. In fact,
when we put the report out for comment the Westinghouse Owners Group
came and said, why is this difference, you must have been missing
Then we looked hard, and we found for some plants we had not
factored in the RWST failure probability and for other plants the
licensees were using extremely low values for RWST failure. They were
using numbers like 10 to the minus 8, 10 to the minus 9.
So one finding that we have is some of the design classes
plants the licensees might not be using the correct probabilities for
their suction segment.
Again, we did look at what the dominant detection was. We
found testing was the most effective method in detecting failure.
In terms of trends, we have found that the unplanned demand
rate, the inadvertent safety injections, the actual operational
transients, has trended down and the trend is statistically significant.
The HPI failure rate. The number of failures that were
reported also showed a statistically trend downwards.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So if I were to do a PRA again, then I
would not have to worry about quantifying the frequency of common-cause
failure. That is built into the numbers you have. Is that correct?
MR. MAYS: I'm not sure what you mean.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is data. This is for the whole
system now, not the train. Or did you inject them yourself?
MR. MAYS: The failure rate here is the individual failure
of components or trains in the system that were reported in the LERs.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If I go to the previous slide that says
average unreliability, is that a calculated number?
MR. MAYS: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So you have included the common-cause
MR. MAYS: Yes. We took the data on the failures that we
got from the LERs to calculate the individual failure probabilities of
the trains. Then we used the common-cause failure database to calculate
the parameter for combining those in the class-specific models. So the
unreliability we are calculating is a result of that fault tree model.
This trend here is the frequency at which we were seeing those failures
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I guess I missed that. If you will go to
slide 22. You say common-cause failure is 72 percent to 95 percent. Is
that something that is based on data?
MR. MAYS: Yes.
MR. WEERAKKODY: That is based on data, yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You calculated it?
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes, we calculated it.
MR. MAYS: We had basically failure probabilities for pump
trains and for injection trains which was based on the data for
everybody. Then we combined those individual pieces into specific
models associated with the design class, and then we applied
common-cause failure parameters to those based on the model
characteristic and then calculated that end result.
For those plants that had 3 or fewer trains common-cause
failure was the dominant contributor, and for class 6, which had
basically 2 independent kind of systems with 2 trains each, there was no
common-cause between those two pieces. Therefore that was not the
dominant failure anymore; the common suction problem was the failure.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Let me ask one question about this common
on design reviews. We normally capture design deficiencies that cause
the system to be incapable of performing, and we did that here?
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That has been an issue that has been raised
by some people.
MR. WEERAKKODY: When we searched using SCSS, when we looked
for its PI failure, we had 4000 them. Then we would go through the LER
and find out whether in fact there was a real failure of a system or a
component or whether it was simply a design deficiency and there were no
degraded condition. Then we ended up with 184 failures.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Of which some fraction of those were design
deficiencies that would cause it to be unable to perform.
MR. WEERAKKODY: That's right,
MR. BARANOWSKY: So design problems are incorporated in
MR. MAYS: I think that is an important point in all of
these analyses as well. There was a study that was recently done by
another branch to look at 1997, all the LERs that were reported to the
agency. They found several hundred that indicated design issues. Of
those several hundred, I think about three or four were significant
enough to make it into the accident sequence precursor program.
The point is from both the reliability and the availability
calculations and from the significance determination of those things to
the ASP program the agency does have a credible way of accounting for
and dealing with design deficiencies. It is not a situation where
design is not captured in PRA. That is just an overly broad statement
that is not true.
MR. WEERAKKODY: As far as the trends, the unplanned demand
rate and the HPI failure rate trended down.
This is where we compared the HPI unreliability with PRA/IPE
data. As you can see, until you come down here, even though there are
minor differences between other type design classes, there is general
When you come to design class 6, then you have some
licensees who have numbers like 20 minus 8, 20 minus 9. That is only
because for the common suction part they did not have realistic numbers.
MR. BONACA: Even if you don't have realistic numbers for
the suction part, these are all similar designs going from 1 in 10 the
minus 4 to 1 in 10 to the minus 9.
MR. MAYS: That's a good question.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We also don't know how perfectly we
captured everything from their IPE. Remember, we have limited
information. It's possible they have other factors that could make this
result be lower. This is just the best we could get out of what was
available in the IPE.
MR. BONACA: In general it is only in class 6. It would be
interesting to know why this difference. There has to be some reason.
In all the other plants there is good consistency.
MR. WEERAKKODY: This is based on our operating experience
for the injection phase. These are the numbers we calculated.
That's all I have. The reactor protection system is next.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Again, my name is Hossein Hamzehee. I work
in the Operating Experience Risk Analysis Branch. Now I can talk as
much as I want.
I think Steve provided a very good summary of all the
highlights of all the systems. So I am just going to go over them
quickly and focus on a few areas that may be a little more significant.
For the studies that we did, basically we have so far
analyzed RPS systems for Westinghouse and GE.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You probably know that in the 1970s the
number of actual demands on the reactor protection system was hotly
contested, and the number of failures. You say that there are 3000
actual demands. What exactly does that mean?
MR. HAMZEHEE: It means it was demand. The condition for
auto scram or auto trip of either Westinghouse or scram of the GE
system. The operating condition was in such a way that would trip the
RPS system either for a real situation or ESF type actuation.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The staff argued very strongly then that
the failure of the Kohl reactor in Germany was the one potential failure
to scram, which, of course, makes a helluva difference, 1 versus zero.
Why is it now zero?
MR. BARANOWSKY: It's the time period we are looking at
MR. HAMZEHEE: 1984 to 1995 is the time period we looked at.
That makes a big difference.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I think there are two things there. It's
the time period that we looked at, and the model that we put together is
extensively oriented toward common-cause failures of trains and
components, and we have data that was just not available back in the
days when the Kohl reactor experience was the only experience. Even I
was using that back when we were trying to do the ATWS rulemaking to
make these estimates. We were scratching our heads for data. We didn't
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The argument that the staff made at the
time was that you agreed with EPRI, as I recall, that we would not see
the same kind of failure mode that we saw in Germany, but what that
tells us is there is this class of failure modes, so something else may
happen that we hadn't thought of.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I was the one of the proponents of that
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So now by changing the time period that
argument goes away.
MR. MAYS: It's not just the time period. When they were
doing that study before there were significantly fewer reactors and
experience of years of operating. What we are trying to do here is
measure the performance of a relatively mature industry over a
sufficiently long period so that we can an accurate description of what
is going on now.
MR. UHRIG: This is also just U.S. plants.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes. This does not include international
plants. This is U.S., 100-some nuclear plants. So that German plant is
not included here by definition.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: On the other hand, the number of failures
was controversial, zero versus 1, but also they had a number of demands.
I remember EPRI had four of five different tests, one of them being
something like 240,000. So this is now not important because we are not
really making a rule.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We tried to come up with a model back in
the early 1980s that looked something like what we are doing over here.
In fact we did, but we didn't have the data. We didn't even know how to
do common-cause failure right back then. I'm not even sure we had beta
factors in those days.
Since then we have assembled the data using the common-cause
failure data protocols and the methodology that we have available so
that we could look at this thing in piece parts and in total. Now we
think we have a way of doing the analysis that is credible, whereas
before all we had was that one Kohl event and not that much experience,
and it was a conservative approach.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Wasn't there an incident once when in a
BWR the control rods wouldn't go in?
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes. We talk about it. If you give me a few
minutes, we are going to get there and we will talk about some of the
specific failures. Let me quickly pass a few more and we will get
there, if you don't mind.
Basically, we looked at Westinghouse, 2 different models,
analog model and Eagle 21.
Then we looked at General Electric RPS models, mainly for
BWR-4, and that was because the majority of the plants are BWR-4 and
there aren't any major differences.
As we speak, we are planning to do 2 more that will cover
the whole industry, and that is for B&W, RPS, and CE.
MR. UHRIG: The 3000, is that a nominal number? Is that an
MR. HAMZEHEE: This is an exact number from 1984 to 1995,
based on LER reports.
MR. UHRIG: It's amazing to come out to 3000.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Next I will look at this quickly. I don't
want to get into the details because I know this is a boring system, but
basically we included in our model signal channels, signal logic, trip
breakers and CRDM, and control rod hydraulic units for GE.
MR. SEALE: It's boring only if it works.
MR. HAMZEHEE: As you may all expect, the RPS system is a
highly reliable system. The data did not contradict anything that we
knew from the past.
As you see, for Westinghouse I call it unreliability because
this is failure to function on demand. That is the only thing we
include here. That makes sense.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's unavailability.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Failure to function on demand.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is correct. What you have on the
slide is correct.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Okay. Failure to start on demand is 2E minus
5. Because this is a highly redundant system, the hardware and the
independent failures don't contribute much. As you see, most of the
contributions are from common-cause.
Here you have two undervoltage driver cards failing,
common-cause 46 percent. And bistables, and so forth.
Also, when we looked at the trends for this system we did
not see an decreasing or increasing failure trend.
MR. UHRIG: Did you deal with the Analog and the Eagle 21
together, or did you make any separate studies of these?
MR. MAYS: We looked at them both, separate model. What we
found was that the places where Eagle 21 was significantly different
from the Analog was not in the areas where the common-cause failures
were occurring. So the results are almost exactly the same.
MR. HAMZEHEE: So these apply to both models and mainly
Here we tried to compare them with IPE values, and it makes
more sense here because the data was from 1984 to 1995, and most of the
IPEs were about 1992-1993.
If you look here, you see that that we have 2 values, with
and without manual scram. We have all the plants included from the IPE
values, what they have used, and you see that the values here for Eagle
were slightly lower.
MR. MAYS: Remember, NUREG-0460 had a value of either 3 10
to the minus 5 or 1 10 to the minus 5, depending on which portions of it
you took. What you see is a lot of plants have that value as their IPE
We didn't see a lot of plants that had fault tree specific
analysis of their plants and their IPEs. That's another reason why
there are some of the differences in there.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Go back to the prior viewgraph for a
minute. I'm not sure if I heard you mention this or not. You talked
about the contributors here, about the fact that the reactor trip
breakers are way down there now.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Seven percent, yes.
MR. BARANOWSKY: In the Salem time frame, when we did that
look-see, the reactor trip breakers were by far the dominant contributor
to the system failure rate, for two reasons. For one thing, they were
more unreliable then. They have improved.
The second thing is we didn't have data on all these other
things in a model we could put together like this and relate partial
failures and malfunctions the way we now put them into the common-cause
MR. HAMZEHEE: That is the key thing. We have more data
now, so we know that's true.
MR. MAYS: The other thing was that the systems have changed
since Salem because all the plants now not only have undervoltage trips
in their RPS breakers, but they shunt trips. So there is a combination
of the breakers performing better in the undervoltage trip mode; they
have an additional redundant mode, the trip; and we have data about the
common-cause failures of these things since then. That particular
insight is specifically called out about why it is lower in the report.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We have failures in all these areas, and
almost all of these require some element of common-cause failure to be a
contributor. Independent failures just don't show up.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That's true, mainly because it is highly
MR. BARANOWSKY: The question of whether or not the Kohl
experience is relevant anymore has to do with going and looking at the
data and asking yourself, well, what evidence have I had over the last
15 or 20 years of the types of things that are going to cause failure
through common causes. Those have been captured in this analysis.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That's correct.
MR. MAYS: In this analysis, those would be failures of the
signal processing modules. We went back and said in the Kohl reactor
the relays would freeze up and therefore you wouldn't get the signal to
trip. So we have in our model explicitly those particular areas
MR. HAMZEHEE: Back to number 31. We dealt with
Westinghouse. We did a similar study for GE.
MR. BONACA: Could you go back to the curve. Some of ones
with unavailability above 10 to the minus 4 are actually very recent
plants. Any insight why they would have unavailability of one order of
magnitude higher than the average?
MR. HAMZEHEE: We did not specifically look into it, but my
own judgment is that some of the newer plants did not have enough
information. So most likely they used some generic studies that are
usually higher than what you see for actual plants.
MR. BARANOWSKY: There may be higher failure rates on the
circuit breaks, for instance, because they don't have more current data.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That could be the trend.
MR. UHRIG: This is supposed to be all PWRs?
MR. HAMZEHEE: IPEs?
MR. UHRIG: Westinghouse.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes.
MR. UHRIG: Turkey Point is not in there, or am I missing
MR. HAMZEHEE: We tried to put as many as we could, but they
are not all here. Remember, this is just a sample of comparison. We
didn't try to capture all the Westinghouse plants on the curve.
MR. BONACA: It is strange to see a variability of two
orders of magnitude when most PRAs use some generic number.
MR. MAYS: We don't know what the reasons for all those
particular changes were because we had limited access to the models and
information in the PRAs. The important point for us was to indicate
when we see something that looks different that that particular model or
that particular information is important to a regulatory decision, and
somebody can then go out and get it.
MR. HAMZEHEE: The other reason you see some variability is
because some plants chose to use a single point rather than model the
RPS system. The ones that spend more time actually model the RPS, so
they got more accurate results. That also is a big factor.
Now we go to the GE BWR-4. The unavailability that we found
for this system was 6E minus 6, which is highly reliable.
The contributors. RPS is a highly redundant system, so you
don't expect to see independent failures much, and almost 100 percent of
the contribution is coming from common-cause, mostly channel segments,
hydraulic control units. The CRDMs are very small, about 4 percent.
We did a similar comparison here.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Did you say you are going to discuss that
MR. HAMZEHEE: For GE. I think the one you were talking
about was the Browns Ferry event.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't remember.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That's the one where the rods didn't go in.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes, that's the Browns Ferry. There was an
event in 1980 at Browns Ferry. The problem they had that the scram
discharge volume level was a little high. They had some failure to
insert some of the rods. When we did this study we looked at that
We analyzed about 7000 different events to understand the
failure types and failure cause of the RPS, and we realized that the
data showed that there are no more failures that are related to the
scram discharge volume. So that deficiency was not shown in the 1984 to
1995 data anymore.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Would you call that a manual action,
MR. HAMZEHEE: No.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: They were draining water, I think.
MR. MAYS: No. It was leakage past the scram discharge
valves that would collect in the scram discharge volume. They hadn't
been draining the scram discharge volume. So when they got an actual
signal they put a hydraulic lock on the piping.
Since then there have been requirements to put in level
monitoring and sensing devices and to change the RPS so that the RPS
will scram out before you get to that high level condition in the scram
discharge volumes, and the valves have been made more reliable.
What we saw when we went back and looked at the data -- and
this is documented in the report -- was that the contribution from scram
discharge volume, which we did have as part of our model, is not longer
the dominant contributor because it is not having failures that are
causing rods to lock up and not move anymore. We explicitly looked at
that and found that that was no longer a significant contributor to the
common-cause failure of these systems.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is that in the report?
MR. HAMZEHEE: It is in the report. The GRPS report is out.
That particular discussion is in the report.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is that in a report from the old Browns
MR. HAMZEHEE: I don't have it, but I can find it for you.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I appreciate that.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Let me go over this quickly. Here we have
with and without recovery. With recovery this is lower; without
recovery it is higher.
If you look at the trend here, you realize that the majority
of the plants are between 1E minus 5 to about 4E minus 5. The reason
for this is because we found out that the majority of the plants went
back and used the NUREG-0460 number, which is 1E minus 3 and 5E minus 3.
A lot of those plants at the time didn't even have plant-specific models
or didn't have enough data. So you see all these guys mostly used the
And these are the guys that had some plant-specific modeling
and more data.
It shows that the majority of the values that were utilizing
the IPE are higher than what we came up with for the period of 1984 to
This one here, I don't know why they used that. I have no
MR. UHRIG: If you did for the most recent 10-year period,
would you expect the results to be about the same?
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes. Again, if we knew the answer, we
wouldn't do the analysis, but the expectation is probably the same or
MR. UHRIG: There has been some recent failure of rods to go
in. I have forgotten the plants.
MR. SEALE: High burnup fuel.
MR. UHRIG: High burnup fuel problems. Would that be
included in this, or is that not part of what you would include in this?
MR. HAMZEHEE: I have to look at the failure, but if it
caused the rods not to drop --
MR. UHRIG: The problem was they didn't go all the way in.
MR. MAYS: The answer is we have in the model control rod
drive mechanism failures, independent failures of those. We went back
and looked at the data to see what the probabilities of failures of
individual rods going in, an then we applied common-cause failure
probabilities to see if enough of them would not go in. If there was an
increase in the failure rates of rods due to high burnup and we were
doing an update study, that would get reflected in that independent
It would also get reflected if it was more than one rod
failing at plants in our common-cause failure data, so it would
theoretically cause us to see an increase in that contribution.
MR. UHRIG: I guess my fundamental question was, I was
interpreting failure to scram meaning that the CRDMs did not release.
MR. HAMZEHEE: You are talking about PWR now?
MR. UHRIG: Yes, PWR.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes. Failure to drop is one of the failure
modes. If it doesn't drop all the way, that is another failure.
MR. MAYS: Our grouping of control rod drive mechanism in
the model includes the releasing mechanism as well as the rod falling
into the core.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Unless the failure was tech spec related.
Like if they didn't go 72 inches and went down 71, then that is really
not a failure because you have the function.
MR. BONACA: Failure to release affects all the rods. Would
you treat it equally?
MR. HAMZEHEE: No, because as Steve explained, especially
for RPS system, because of lack of enough information, we developed
fault tree models. When we developed the fault tree models, for some
trains or segments we have components.
If you have some failure for only one control rod, then that
portion of the fault tree is going to be higher failure occurrence and
the rest are going to stay the same. So you see some impact at the end.
MR. BONACA: Those considerations are inside the FSAR
MR. HAMZEHEE: Exactly.
MR. BONACA: Failure to insert.
MR. MAYS: The point is your question was there is a general
failure which is a common mode failure. If you don't get a signal for
the CRDMs to release, then none of them will work. That is incorporated
in the model.
In addition, we incorporated in the model a common-cause
failure probability of enough rods individually not being able to go in.
You can see there wasn't a very big contributor. If we were do an
update and high burnup fuels were to cause swelling of the channel so
that the rods wouldn't go in, we would see those individual failures; we
would incorporate that into the model, and you would be able to how big
of an impact it had.
MR. SEALE: It's my understanding that in the cases of the
ones where it has happened the rod has been inserted to get 99 percent
of the rod worth in. So you have got another question here as to
whether it's a failure.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That is not a catastrophic failure, so
called. It would be some partial failure.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It gives time for the operators to do
MR. UHRIG: If you could go back a long to the old Chalk
River incident, there were 22 rods. It required 3 to shut it down and
only 2 went in.
MR. MAYS: Right. The point is you have got a whole mess of
rods in the reactor and you have to determine how many rods failing to
go in constitutes failure of the function. That determines what
common-cause failure parameter you are going to apply to the individual
We can get data on scrams as to whether or not the rods are
going in. We can get that individual rod insertion failure probability,
and we can determine whether it was due to high burnup fuel or not by
the failure records. Depending on how many rods there are and how many
of them have to not fail for that particular design class, we would
decide what the common-cause failure term is, and then that goes into
So it would be explicitly included if that operating
experience were to show up with more and more failures. I just can't
tell you off the top of my head how many more and how significant they
have to be before they impact this number.
MR. HAMZEHEE: And remember, common-cause failures, we
didn't really have any event in which so many of these things failed.
Common-cause failures, we have one or two or three events, and then we
do analytical processing of this information to say, well, now what is
the probability of having three of them fail, four of them fail, ten of
them. But in actuality we really didn't have any common-cause failure
that would fail more than two or three of these control rods.
Next is just a brief status of all the updates that we have
and the system studies. All the shaded ones are the completed ones. As
I explained earlier, for CE and B&W we are going to do the analysis and
we are going to include from 1984 to 1998. So we are adding three more
All these updates have been completed, and this shows the
status of the updates and the second update for all the completed
systems goes all the way through fiscal year 2001.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why don't we recess now and be back at one
o'clock, or a little after.
[Whereupon at 12:00 p.m., the meeting was recessed, to
reconvene at 1:00 p.m., this same day.]. A F T E R N O O N S E S S I O N
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What's next?
MR. HAMZEHEE: Hossein Hamzehee again. We are going to
cover the component studies.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: At some point you will come to the
risk-based performance indicators?
MR. MAYS: Yes. That is the last piece.
MR. HAMZEHEE: We have a few more segments before then. If
you don't ask any questions, this is going to be 10 minutes maximum.
In addition to system studies, as Steve mentioned earlier,
we have also undertaken studies at the component level.
So far there are four main types of components that we are
either currently analyzing or will be analyzing in the near future.
They are turbine-driven pumps, water-driven pumps, MOVs and AOVs. Today
we will talk about some of the results of the turbine-driven pump
studies and the motor-driven pump studies.
This one here is a turbine-driven pump. We put here some
mean value and lower and upper bound so you get some idea on the
uncertainty distribution or variation distribution.
Here the NUREG-4550 is the generic database that has been
used by some utilities to come up with their numbers for turbine-driven
pumps. The mean value is 3E minus 2. In our study for the
turbine-driven pump we looked at all the industry population.
For PWRs we looked at aux feedwater system, because that was
the only system that had turbine-driven pump and was a
For BWRs the only two systems that have turbine-driven pumps
are RCIC and HPCI. So these are the two systems that you see here for
BWR, and the system for PWR.
Later on we will have a figure that shows a comparison with
industry. Here the mean for aux feedwater failure to start on demand
for the pump is 1.6E minus 2; for RCIC BWR it is 2E minus 2; and for
HPCI it is 3.3E minus 2.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So it's pretty close.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes, very close.
MR. MAYS: NUREG-4450, by the way, was the data input source
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. We can't forget those numbers.
Mr. Christie has a question, or did he just come up here
because he likes us?
MR. CHRISTIE: I love you, George.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We are on the record, Bob.
MR. CHRISTIE: That previous slide. How do I relate the
boiling water reactor system's RCIC of 2 times 10 to the minus 2 to the
high pressure coolant injection of 3.3 times 10 to the minus 2 to the
values you were given for the update stuff, .3 for RCIC and .7 for HPCI?
MR. HAMZEHEE: This is the turbine-driven pump portion of
the system only. What you had earlier was for the system. There is
only one train system. That's the difference.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But they are consistent.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Yes.
MR. CHRISTIE: That is only the pump?
MR. HAMZEHEE: That's correct. The turbine-driven pump;
failure to start on demand.
These are the major findings that we wanted to quickly go
over with you.
When we did the trending analysis we did not see evidence of
aging for turbine-driven pumps in the industry.
When we drew the boundary of the turbine-driven pumps we had
three subcomponents, the turbine, the pump itself, and the governor.
The dominant subcomponent failure was the governor failures
of the overall turbine-driven pump. I don't think that is a surprise.
That is for the BWR RCIC.
For PWR aux feedwater and BWR HPCI, in addition to the
governor, we also had the turbine portion of the pump as a significant
contributor. We have a pie chart that will show all the contributions
from each category.
The main cause of the failure for turbine-driven pump for
aux feedwater and RCIC were age an wear and maintenance or procedural
deficiencies. These are the categories that have been defined by NPRDS.
So we followed the same categorization.
For BWR HPCI, maintenance and procedural deficiencies were
the main cause.
Here we tried to do the same thing, make a comparison with
the IPEs. This value here is the one that we calculated in our study,
and this one here is the 4550 generic database that was used. These
were selected utilities that we could get the results of the IPEs
easier, and we put them in here for comparison. You realize that for
our study this is the distribution and this is the mean.
If you look at the variation among the plants, for PWR aux
feedwater you see that it is within the range, the upper and lower, and
you see some utilities that have higher than some others.
The same comparison for BWR RCIC system. There is more
condensed variation between the plants. When we looked at the actual
data, we saw a large distribution among different utilities, the actual
plants from 1987 to 1998. That was the time period in which we did the
This is the same comparison for BWR HPCI. You see that our
analysis showed this as the mean value, which is about 3 point something
E minus 3, and this is the distribution. You see a wider distribution,
but they are still within our range. So it is nothing that surprised us
You may ask why we have in some areas a larger variation.
It is also because of maybe the number of failures you have or number of
demands that you have. Sometimes that could cause some higher variation
in the population.
Here we show by failure, regardless of all those
comparisons. From 1987 to 1995, based on the NPRDS, we look at all the
failures. In 1987 we had 11 failures. This portion is for the pump
failure, turbine failure, and governor failure. You don't see any trend
that the failures are going up or down. You see they are all over. So
you can't really draw any statistical trending for this.
In the last year, 1995, you see that the number is lower
than the previous years.
And this is the only year you have too many failures, 18.
MR. SEALE: I have a question on that. It looks to me that
with the total number you have there is nothing that is out of line
MR. HAMZEHEE: Exactly.
MR. SEALE: Yet you indicated earlier that the deficiencies
seemed to be with regard to maintenance and procedures.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That's correct.
MR. SEALE: It would strike me that those are two things
that are somewhat susceptible to remedial action, procedures in general
and the maintenance in terms of the training of the people and so on.
I guess the message I get out of this is there just hasn't
been a lot of attention to tightening up the procedures and the
maintenance on these things, so that you drive those numbers down a
little bit more.
MR. HAMZEHEE: In a sense you are right. On a relative
basis you are absolutely right. If you really look at the number of
failures we have compared to the number of demands, you see that there
are so few failures that you can't really do a lot to improve them. If
you could, then you are right. The procedures and maintenance are the
areas. You have to go back and try to find out what the root cause is
and improve the procedures.
MR. MAYS: I think the answer there also is that when you
are looking at this, which is across the industry, you may see a certain
relevant percentage due to maintenance, but in any one particular plant
you may only have one or two at some point in time. So there wouldn't
be an across-the-industry type of attention to that that would cause all
the overall industry values to go down.
MR. SEALE: I have to confess that the earlier slide you
showed which showed roughly that plants seemed to have about the same
failure rates suggests that it's not an acute thing at particular
plants, which you would expect it to be.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That's correct.
MR. MAYS: Because that's where the corrective action would
MR. SEALE: That's right.
MR. HAMZEHEE: This is the pie chart I was talking about.
We don't have to spend too much time on this. Basically it shows you
the contribution of each cause as defined by NPRDS.
For PWR AFW, you see, as we said, maintenance and procedure
is 24 percent and age and wear 26.
For the BWR, the majority comes from maintenance and
procedure again. Then age an wear.
Again, on a relative basis, but when you look at the
absolute, there really are very few failures.
For BWR, you see that maintenance and procedure for HPCI is
the most dominant.
MR. BONACA: I call it wear rather than age. It is still
pretty significant. Does it mean that in the case that you have
excessive corrective maintenance rather than preventive maintenance?
For example, you have BWR RCIC, the isolation condenser, 30
percent is due to wear. Would it tell you that maybe there isn't
sufficient preventive maintenance?
MR. HAMZEHEE: It could be, but the information we had and
the data failures reviewed in the NPRDS would not directly tie this to
this concern, but that could be one of the factors.
MR. BONACA: This is the kind of insight you want to have
for performance indicators?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes. But you couldn't say just by looking
at these pie fractions whether there was sufficient or insufficient
attention paid to these things. You would have to ask yourself what is
the overall performance level and is that acceptable, and if it is
unacceptable, then what is the deficiency.
MR. HAMZEHEE: That is with turbine-driven pumps. If you
don't have any questions, we will go to motor-driven pumps.
We did a similar study with the motor-driven pump. We just
sent out a draft report for review. These are some preliminary results.
For PWR, since we are talking about motor-driven pumps, we
had more risk-significant systems that we considered.
For PWRs, we have aux feedwater, HPI, CCW, containment
spray, CVCS, nuclear service water, and RHR.
For BWR, we have five systems: HPCS, LPCS, reactor building
component cooling water system, and service water and RHR.
For all these things we looked at the motor-driven pump
failure probability on demand from 1987 to 1998.
If you look at the value here from NUREG-4550, the mean is 3
minus 3. If you look at the distribution here, you see they are very
close to the mean. That wasn't generic.
For PWR, on the other hand, you see that for HPCS you have a
higher failure on demand probability. You see that for reactor CCW you
have one order of magnitude lower in the actual data than you see in the
We have a few figures that will compare these with the
Some of the insights we gained from the motor-driven pump
study is the fact again that we did not observe any evidence of aging.
That was one of the findings which is similar to the turbine-driven
When we looked at the subcomponents of the motor-driven
pump, we had the pump itself, the motor, and then the circuit breaker.
The dominant subcomponent failure was on the circuit breaker. I don't
think that is anything unexpected. We have seen this and we have data
that shows the circuit breaker is the part that fails most often.
The main causes for PWR systems, mainly they were unknown,
43 percent, and then maintenance, procedural and age an wear, all
together about 40 percent.
Before you ask the question, let me explain what "unknown"
is. Whenever utilities report the information we have categorization
defined in the NPRDS. Sometimes they cannot relate that failure to any
of those categories, so they put "unknown." When they say unknown, then
we don't have more information to really say what caused it.
Unfortunately, we have about 40 percent of those unknown.
MR. MAYS: The other issue with that is sometimes they will
just replace the part that failed with a new one and won't bother to do
a root cause analysis. They put the new one in, it works, and they go
on. That also contributes to unknown.
MR. HAMZEHEE: For BWR, age and wear was relatively more
MR. SEALE: What is the relative cost of a pump driven by
turbine compared to a motor-driven pump?
MR. HAMZEHEE: I have no idea.
MR. SEALE: I would be interesting to know whether you have
an attitude that you will run the turbine-driven pump drive until it
breaks, whereas you will replace the motor because it's a cheaper thing
to do. I guess because of the lack of the generality of the turbine
drive that they are more expensive.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Have worked many years in the utilities, I
know that usually operations doesn't like turbine-driven pumps because
operationally there is a lot of headache, a lot of cleaning and stuff
that they have to deal with. So motor-driven pumps are the preference
except that when you lose offsite power you need some backup. So that
is a must with respect to safety.
Here we look at the comparison again aux feedwater PWR.
Here is our calculate range with the mean of about almost 2E minus 3.
This is the NUREG value. You see that values are within the range
For BWR reactor building CCW system, same thing. This is
our number, and this is NUREG, and these are the IPE values. You see
that almost all of them use higher numbers in their IPEs than we came up
with for the period of 1987 to 1998.
Like Steve mentioned earlier, now a lot of these utilities
have gone ahead and updated their IPE. So some of these values may be a
little different than what we have here.
This is the same thing for RHR/LPCI system. We didn't see
any significant changes.
This again is going to going to look at total number of
failures per calendar year across the industry.
This is for PWR systems. Again, you see that the number of
failures in 1987 we have 13 all the way to 1995. In 1995 we have 14.
As you see from the figure, the circuit breakers are
dominating the whole thing on a relative basis. There is no statistical
trend that you can call from this. That is why we said there is no
evidence of aging.
For BWRs, again you see that it goes all the way from 7,
which was completely due to circuit breaker failures, all the way to
1995, which is 5. For some reason 1993 had the highest number, which is
9 failures of so many thousands of demands.
Again, this the pie chart to show the causes.
For PWR, as we mentioned earlier, the majority of it is
unknown, and then a little bit of maintenance, procedural, age and wear,
I think another interesting finding is that on a relative
basis almost all of them have a very small percent contribution from
design deficiencies. So you really see that design doesn't play a major
role because they are mature enough not to have any more problem.
A quick review of our schedule.
As I mentioned earlier, turbine-driven pump studies all
done, reviewed, and comments have been incorporated. A NUREG should be
published any time from now until January.
Motor-drive pump studies are out for review, and we hope by
March of 2000 we can publish the NUREG report.
MOV we are currently working on. It should be done by June,
and the AOV reliability study should be done by July of next year.
With that, if you don't have any questions --
MR. BONACA: I have a question. When I look at this data
for so many plants, I didn't identify any trend for a particular plant
that says there is something unique at that plant where everything is
always tracked in the wrong direction. Is that correct?
MR. HAMZEHEE: That's correct. I think that is a valid
MR. BONACA: That is quite important.
MR. MAYS: I have to say we didn't go out and do a
plant-by-plant comparison on these and the other studies to see if that
was true. I think it is probably appropriate to say at first blush we
didn't notice anything that would cause us to see that.
MR. HAMZEHEE: Any more questions?
MR. MAYS: The next topic we are going to talk about is
common-cause failure analysis. You have heard about this program and
the database before. So this should be fairly brief. There are a
couple of new things that we are working on that we will tell you about
that will help on the oversight processes and the engineering insights.
Dr. Rasmuson will come up and talk about the common-cause
MR. RASMUSON: We will go through the purpose, objectives,
and the program description of what we have envisioned.
The purpose is to provide a database and a tool to enable
the NRC staff to treat common-cause failures in risk-informed regulatory
activities using both qualitative engineering insights and quantitative
We started with the development of a database, which we have
talked about before, and the analysis software.
We have collected data from NPRDS and LERs. In the future
we will be looking at EPIX since NPRDS is not there, using that as a
We have estimated common-cause failure parameters from the
The final thing that we are doing is gleaning engineering
insights regarding the common-cause failures with respect to causes,
coupling factors, detection method, and other engineering attributes
that we have.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I'm sure you remember that I had some
doubts about the quantitative questions, at least quantitative estimates
for the parameters. I especially objected to having generic values, and
Maybe one way of putting this to rest is to have a couple of
people who have not worked on this project to perhaps review the
methodology and get a fourth opinion, so to speak. Not Fleming or
Mosley or those guys, because they participated.
Is it possible without spending too much money to have a
fresh view? That methodology was developed in the 1980s, mid to late
1980s. Based on the information we have now and maybe somebody else's
expertise, to go back and look at the alpha factor model. That is the
one you are using, right?
MR. RASMUSON: That is the one where you can calculate
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So maybe look at the assumptions behind it
so it is not going to be my word against yours.
Not that I object to it. It is just that I would like
somebody else to look at it too. Would that be too much to ask, Pat?
MR. BARANOWSKY: I don't know. It seems to me we have gone
out and had people like Mosley and Fleming look at this.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: They developed it. Did you ever have a
serious peer review?
MR. BARANOWSKY: We had other people too. We went and got
the country's top common-cause failure people to be involved in this.
Now I am concerned about going and find the next tier down and ask them
to review it. If there is such a group, I guess I need to know about
MR. RASMUSON: George, when we were developing the software
and looking at the uncertainty on this, Corey Atwood took a very careful
look at everything that we had done before we implemented anything in
it. He went back and looked at the bases for the alpha factor versus
the beta factor and the multiple Greek letter, and so forth. That is
one of the reasons we have gone with the alpha factor, because it has a
statistical foundation where the multiple Greek letter does not.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I am not worried so much about its
statistical merits. Some of the things that we were doing then, do we
still want to do them now that we have the databases? For example, is
it time perhaps to think again that perhaps the basic parameter model is
MR. RASMUSON: These are all related to the basic parameter
model, George. They are all re-parameterizations of each other.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I think the problem is that we are not sure
who would do this kind of review, although I guess it could be a problem
for graduate students or something like that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, no, no.
MR. RASMUSON: We came, George, to the ACRS to get comments
on this stuff, and we got your comments and other people's. We put this
information out to INPO, to EPRI, to other people to see if they had any
comments on it. So we think we had a pretty elite group of people
looking at this thing.
In addition, we have been involved with the international
common-cause data exchange where we have met with the Swedes and the
French and the other people involved in common-cause failure analysis,
and in the process of doing all that just about everybody we have come
into contact with who has had some familiarity with common-cause failure
analysis has said you guys have the best system going, and your process
and your parameters and your classification of things we want to adopt
Absent some specific problem that we can relate to and get
somebody to go after with us and address, I'm not sure how much more we
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I remember there were some funny equations
allowing you to go from 1 out of 2 system to 1 out of 3. Are you still
using those since you have data now?
MR. BARANOWSKY: The mapping procedures. Dale can correct
me, but I think mapping procedures were developed by someone and
reviewed by somebody else. That is the kind of stuff that has been done
all along the way. If Olie Mosley something, Corey Atwood reviewed is.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That was still being used, wasn't it?
MR. RASMUSON: Yes. We are still using the map.
MR. MAYS: We don't have sufficient data density, George, to
not do the mapping procedure.
If you are interested in the common-cause failure, the alpha
4 parameter for things failing forward in time, I don't think we have a
sufficient data set to say we are only going to take systems that have
exactly four things and figure out what the alpha parameter is for those
things. We don't have sufficient data density to do that. So it's
necessary to say, well, if I had a common-cause failure in a system that
had two things and it completely failed, would it be likely at a plant
that had four to fail all four of those too? We have to have a
procedure for going back and forth on that because we still haven't
gotten enough data density to do it directly.
If you look at what we had previously, which we didn't bring
with us, the occurrence rate of complete common-cause failures in all
systems is going down in a statistically significant fashion, so we are
getting less and less data every year. That is one of the reasons we
went to go talk to the international community, to say can we learn
something from your data as well?
It is kind of good news, bad news. The performance is
getting better and that is making it harder to have a lot of data to
figure out anything more about performance.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We still have got this issue of what, if
anything, in additional peer review needs to be looked at on the
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I would feel much better if we found one
or two smart people who have not been involved in this and give them
three or four days just to go over the whole thing from beginning to
end. Would that be too much of a burden?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Three or four days is not too much of a
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's what I am talking about.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The problem I have is I would like to make
sure people have credentials that are going to do that kind of thing.
We went and got all the people with credentials to work on this project,
and now I want to make sure that we don't have people who are less
qualified reviewing their work and bringing up bogus stuff.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If they do, we will not listen to them.
MR. BARANOWSKY: But then we have got to spend the time
rebutting this too.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The point is that I am not talking about
reviewing the statistical methods for handling the parameters. It's the
basic assumptions behind the models that I think we ought to take a
fresh look at. That's all.
One more thing. What I have found, and it may not be a
concern to you, is there isn't a single place, a single paper of
reasonable size, 30 to 40 pages, that describes in a concise way the
approach, the model, the data. There are voluminous reports.
When I teach my PRA class and I want to teach my graduate
students what this CCF business is all about, either I have to give them
a stack of reports, or I have to summarize it.
Would it be too much to ask you guys to put together a 30 or
40 page summary of this?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes, it would be too much.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Because we don't have the need for it. I
think if someone has a need for it, they should put it together. I
don't see how we would use it. We have an extensive technical manual
that gives both the theoretical and the process information necessary to
make this work.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But what you are saying is that if
somebody wants to scrutinize your method, he had better be prepared to
read ten reports.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Correct.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: No. I don't think that's right.
MR. MAYS: Actually, if he wants to scrutinize our methods,
I believe there are only one or two of the four reports that are in the
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't know.
MR. MAYS: The question from my perspective is, who is the
audience for this and what is the benefit to the agency for having done
that? I'm not sure what that is. I am willing to entertain thoughts
about what it might be. I don't see it right now, quite frankly. I
don't think we have articulated well enough what the problem is.
In terms of a simple condensed thing, you have the same
problem if you are going to explain reactor kinetics and two group
diffusions equations to your engineering students. You can't just give
them a 30 page summary. I'm not sure that there is any difference
MR. BARANOWSKY: Steve's point about what is the audience
and what is the value of doing is important. A 30 page document.
Everything is always just a couple pages here, a couple pages there, a
few more straws, a couple of camels' backs broken. I don't think we
have the resources to do that unless we can identify a user and some
value for it.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think there are users. How about the
PRA fellow who does not want to become an expert on CCF and yet wants to
understand what the model is and use it. You are telling him he has to
go to experts and hire experts to do this. You try to simplify it
because the engineer is not going to spend all the time to learn the
details of the model. It applies to so many other things. I don't see
why it doesn't apply here. In other words, do I have to hire Carl
Fleming if I want to do CCF for my PRA? Evidently now I have to.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I don't so. I think people in utilities
are using this without Carl Fleming. You do have to be a little
knowledgeable, I think. This is not the kind of thing where any old
high school kid off the street can o it.
MR. MAYS: Part of this database idea was to create a
process and a system that would allow a reasonably competent PRA person
and somebody who knew plants to conduct a reasonable CCF analysis
instead of having to go hire Carl Fleming or Henry Pol or somebody else
to do that at his plant. So we have incorporated the key parts of the
methodology and how we did the coding, and we put the database together
in a way --
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Where did you do that, Steve? Where is
the single NUREG where I can find all this stuff?
MR. MAYS: We had a series -- it's on the next slide -- of
four NUREGs that describe the entire process. Those NUREGs talked about
-- there was a very short one which was simple concepts of data
classification and the overall view of the process. Then there was a
detailed one about how we coded up and classified events. There was one
on what the methodology was for calculating parameters.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But that one sends you to five other
NUREGs. The problem is I've read them. If you tell me there is a short
NUREG and then I start reading it and says, now go back to this and that
and that, that doesn't help me. They are asking me to become an expert
by reading 20 reports. This is like the IEEE standards. They send you
to 10 different standards every time.
I am just telling you. Maybe you guys have been working
with those experts for too long and you think that it's natural for a
dense person to understand it as well as they do.
Okay. Don't publish a paper. You are not in the business
of publishing papers, but can you at least have a NUREG of reasonable
size that doesn't send me to 15 other reports so I can understand what
the whole approach is?
I think that would be valuable to the community at large.
You can cut an paste if you want to. I'm not going to tell you how to
do it. But I am telling you as an outsider that there is a need for
that, because nobody really wants to understand this to the letter that
Rasmuson understands it.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I guess we would have to see more of a
groundswell than one at that end of the table, George. I don't see it,
but if I do, or if we do, then we will be responsive to it. I would
have trouble figuring out how we could come up with new funds to go and
do something that we have already done a job on that as far as we know
is working. I have to justify that stuff.
MR. RASMUSON: George, that was part of the purpose of
NUREG/CR-5485. We added a lot of appendices there based on your
comments, because you didn't want to go back to 4780. We tried to make
that one pretty self-contained.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Do I have that one here? Do we have that
MR. MAYS: It's on the next slide. Yes, you do have it.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We provided it to the ACRS.
MR. RASMUSON: This particular slide just outlines the uses
with respect to common-cause failures like you've seen before.
These are our results.
We have the database with data through 1995.
The database was sent to all nuclear power plant licensees
in July of 1998.
The reports are listed here.
We have volumes 1 through 4 on 6268. That is related to the
database and the data collection.
The parameter estimates, 5497.
Then the guidelines is 5485.
The next bullet there is dealing with the resolution of
Generic Issue 145. They used a lot of the insights that we had in
volume 1 of 6268. There was a lot of discussion in the full committee
that you liked those. Those were disseminated to the utilities.
In addition to the pumps and valves and the diesel
generators and so forth, for our RPS studies we collected CCF data on
the RPS system. The components are there.
Those analyses and that data is documented in the individual
reports on the RPS study. We have taken that data and put it into a
database that has just come in, and I am in the process of reviewing
that. We will then release that to the utilities also.
Most of that data is NPRDS data. There is very little LER
data on the RPS components.
We are working on the engineering insights. We have draft
reports on several components here. We are in the process of reviewing
those and getting them ready to send out for peer review, making sure
that they are in a format that they can be used by the inspectors and
the SRAs in the regions.
Our task for the next year. Basically, we are going to
complete the insights reports and issue those as NUREG/CRs. We are
starting to update the database now, adding the NPRDS data from 1996 and
the LER data, and then starting to look at EPIX and see what we have to
do to add that data to the database.
The next part of my presentation is dealing with our
international common-cause data exchange project. This is a project
where we are participating with countries overseas to gain data that can
help us to augment our data that we have.
We started in 1994 to work with these different countries to
bring them along. Sweden was very interested in it to start with.
Finland and the U.S. were there. Then we worked with Germany and
France. Spain has joined. Switzerland has come along. The U.K. is on
board. Canada is finally coming along to where they are starting to
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: These are the regulatory agencies there?
When you say Germany, who is Germany?
MR. RASMUSON: The utilities are participating, but it is
through GRS. Those are the people that we interact with.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Whatever the organization in that country
that is a member or the OECD/NEA, that is the one.
MR. BONACA: Japan is not participating?
MR. RASMUSON: They have been invited to participate. Korea
has expressed interest, but no one has come to meetings.
We developed general coding guidelines. A lot of the input
there came directly from what we had done, and so in a way that is a
peer review of the classification systems and so forth.
The events that we have worked with. We started with pumps.
We have exchanged data on pumps. A report is in printing now at OECD.
We have a draft report on emergency diesel generators that
is being reviewed by the working group now.
Motor-operated valves is the last one that was exchanged.
We are in the process of exchanging data on these others, collecting it
and starting the process.
The things that we need to do.
Renew our agreement. We had a two year agreement where each
country was participating and providing money for our clearinghouse.
Develop a list of additional components for data collection.
And then publish the reports on these other components that
That ends my presentation. Are there any questions?
MR. MAYS: We have a little bit more to do here. I think
the schedule was to go to around 2:30 or so, and we are probably a
little bit behind that. There is some significant stuff you probably
need to hear about in the way of accident sequence precursor material.
I am hoping we can go through the program introductions to
other areas of that fairly quickly and get to the key things which I
think you need to know about, which is what are the results of the 1998
events that we have seen; what kind of effort is going on to deal with
the question you asked earlier, George, about what is SPAR and what does
it mean; and to also talk about the Cook analysis that we undertook in
light of the significant number of issues that came out of the D.C. Cook
If we can go through the other ones pretty quickly, then the
last one after that would be discussion of risk-based PIs.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We don't have anything after 2:30.
MR. MAYS: If you don't have anything after 2:30, we will
stay to take care of what you need to hear.
The person who is going to be first discussing the stuff is
Dr. Pat O'Reilly, who is the ASP program technical monitor and project
lead. Then you will hear from Ed Rodrick next, and then from Sunil
MR. O'REILLY: The first slide is just a quick outline of
the presentation on the ASP program.
As Steve pointed out, I will run through the program
description, give you some results and some insights that we have
gleaned from the last year or so of review and analysis of data. Then
Ed Rodrick will talk about the SPAR model development. Sunil will talk
about the D.C. Cook issue review, and then I will come back and wrap up
with future activities.
The ASP program has as its primary objective a systematic
evaluation of U.S. nuclear power plant experience, to document and rank
those operating events that were most significant in terms of potential
for inadequate core cooling and core damage.
It has a number of secondary objectives which are listed
Categorize the precursors.
Provide a measure that can be used to trend core damage
Provide a partial check on PRAs and IPEs.
Program description. You are very familiar with this. It's
a three phase process.
There is a screening phase. That is very important. Pat
and Steve have brought this up before. We screen and review all LERs,
including those that deal with design-basis issues.
MR. UHRIG: Is this done by individuals just reviewing and
MR. O'REILLY: The screening part is in conjunction with the
sequence coding and search system which Dale talked about this morning.
That is a computer algorithm.
The second phase is what you are talking about. Those
events that are screened in by the algorithm are then given to an
engineer to review against selection criteria. They then make a
judgment in a relatively short period of time whether that event needs
to have a detailed analysis performed.
Finally, the last step, perform a detailed analysis and
calculate the conditional probability of core damage given the failures
that were observed during the event or as a result of the condition of
The next slide illustrates some of the uses an users of the
ASP. That is methodology. That is not just the models; it could be the
methodology that we employ.
Prompt assessments both by NRR and the regions.
Evaluate the significance of inspection findings. That is
part of the oversight process.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: How long does it take you to do an ASP?
MR. O'REILLY: To do a complete flow-blown ASP analysis,
George, takes about a week if it's a very complicated event. If it is
fairly straightforward, it might take a day or less. It depends.
MR. MAYS: The actual computation time.
MR. O'REILLY: Right, what I'm talking about right now.
MR. MAYS: You are asking how long it takes to do an ASP
event from the time the event occurs until the final thing is published.
That's several months, on the order of about six to eight months. That
also depends on the level of complication.
There are several factors that are involved in that. One is
licensees have 30 days to submit an LER after event. Then we have to
get into the system. Then we have to look at it. We do our analysis.
We send it to them. We give them at least 30 days to respond back.
Then we have to do the final analysis and respond to their comments.
So what happens is the process currently takes several
months. Some of that is not technical analysis oriented but is
information processing oriented, and we are working to try to find out
how, in conjunction with the folks in NRR and what we are doing, we can
shorten that time up.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The point is you have to have a new
oversight process. The way I see it is the regions have the ability to
do this, don't you think? They can't come back to you and go through
Oak Ridge or whoever else is doing it and say do this. Simply the
volume of it will overwhelm.
MR. MAYS: We are working with them to identify who in the
agency is going to have what part of the process and at what stage of
the evaluation. The oversight process has the significance
determination process, which is an ASP-like screening criteria to
determine which ones need further analysis. Then the SRAs in the
regions have access to these SPAR model tools that we use to do the
full-blown thing. So they can do initial evaluations and analysis. The
folks in NRR have that capability also.
There are steps along the way in which we can do analysis of
the events. The key information is, do we have all the right
information about what the factors are that affect the thing so we can
get it to a final analysis that is credible.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Are the ASP methods moving towards the PRA
MR. MAYS: We will get that into the SPAR method
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If I have IPE on line, can I do an ASP
MR. MAYS: The utilities often will do that when an event
comes up and they know that we are going to evaluate the risk
significance of the scenario. We use the SPAR model in some cases as a
check of what they have to see whether or not it comes out with a
reasonable result. Then we go through the final analysis of documenting
all the stuff we put in the models and we send it to the utilities.
They come back and tell us if there is something that is not correct.
So there is an interplay there.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So finally the regions should have a SPAR
MR. MAYS: They have it. The SRAs all have access to the
models and the codes to do this, and depending on particular regions and
particular activities have run them to do checks on these things. So do
the folks in the PSA Branch in NRR, because they are often asked to say
on a very short turnaround time what is the risk significance in this,
at least in a gross way, to see whether or not we should even be paying
attention to things.
MR. BONACA: My sense is that when you do the screening a
reasonably small fraction of these issues require a one week analysis.
MR. O'REILLY: Correct. We start out with on the order of
1500 LERs, for example, because we use other sources of information
besides LERs. The engineering review that I talked about earlier will
bring that down by a factor of 2, to about 700, and then further it will
come down. In the end we end up analyzing in detail 50 to 60 events a
These are some of the uses that Research makes of the ASP
methodology. We have covered most of those.
Recent ASP activities. I would like to spend just a minute
or two on these.
The first event that occurred was functional responsibility
for the ASP program was transferred to Research as a result of the
reorganization of Research and the abolition, or as someone here pointed
out this morning, the vaporization of AEOD.
We evaluated the 1988 events to precursors. We published
the results of the analyses. I will get to that in a minute.
We evaluated and assessed trends in the precursor data by
updating the database with the 1998 results.
We have begun the evaluation of 1999 events, and I will give
you the status of those.
We redirected the coordination of the ASP program. We will
come to that in a little bit. That is a lead-in to Ed Rodrick's
We also continued development of the SPAR models and we
evaluated the risk significance of the Cook issues.
This summarizes the transfer of ASP program functional
responsibility. I will skip over that and just point out that the
Operating Experience Risk Analysis Branch is now responsible both for
the ASP program and for the model development that supports the program.
However, it is important to remember that the Probabilistic
Risk Analysis Branch in Research, Mark Cunningham's branch, remains
responsible for the computer codes, SAPHIRE and the associated GEM
analysis, the graphics evaluation module, that we use in events
This summarizes what we have done with the 1998 event
We completed the screening review and analysis of all 1998
We identified from a preliminary analysis 11 potential
precursors that affected 10 different units.
We sent the analyses out for peer and licensee review.
Current status. So far we have 10 events that affected 9
different units because one of the events was reanalyzed in response to
a licensee's comment, and it no longer made the precursor threshold for
This is the table that summarizes the analysis of the 1998
events. We still have a couple of events that are under review. Peer
review comments are in and we are reviewing the comments and working on
the final analyses.
These are some insights which were gleaned from the result
of the analyses of 1998 events. So far we have got 10 potential
precursors compared with 1997 when we only had 5. It looks like 1997
might have been an anomaly because they were running about 10 to 12 per
year before that time.
Eight of the 10 potential precursors for 1998 involve
equipment unavailabilities. Only two were initiators, and both of those
occurred at the same plant.
The potential precursor data for 1998 is consistent with the
decreasing trend which is statistically significant that we have
observed over the period from 1984 through 1997.
In terms of failures or degradations of the auxiliary
feedwater systems for PWRs, 3 of the 1998 precursors involved electrical
problems. That is consistent with the previous two years, but prior to
that electrical problems were running about 60 percent of the
Four of the precursors for 1998 involved LOCA-related
issues, but we didn't have an actual loss of coolant accident.
The ASP program historically has considered any event with a
conditional core damage probability than 10 to the minus 4 to be
important. We had one last year. A tornado caused loss of offsite
power at the Davis-Besse plant in June.
However, since 1984, if you look at the occurrence rate for
this group, greater than or equal to 10 to the minus 4, it has got a
statistically significant decreasing trend.
Finally, the 1998 precursor report is currently scheduled
for publication sometime next month.
We audit the risk trends in the precursor data in several
First, we analyze trends in the occurrence of precursors.
We compared an annual ASP index with core damage frequency
estimates from IPE, although some of these may be out of date.
We also compared modes and causes of precursors with those
that are typically modeled in IPEs and PRAs.
The next slide shows the results for the evaluation of the
trends in precursor rates. There are four of them. All four of them
have decreasing trends. However, only one of them, the probability
dealing with exponent minus 3, is not statistically significant. The
other three are.
If we look at the future, if we were to go through 1999 with
no 10 to the minus 3 event, than that too would be a statistically
significant decreasing trend.
We also looked at the annual ASP index, which is something I
believe we discussed with the committee previously, and compared the
updated data. We added another year, and it didn't really change things
very much. It is still on an order of magnitude basis consistent with
the estimates from IPEs on average.
If you look at the 1994 through 1997 precursor results, you
find that about 15 percent of the precursors involve event initiators
that aren't typically modeled in PRAs.
For 1998 we have the possibility of two of these.
The first involved potential failure of the recirculation
mode of ECCS because of calibration and calculational errors in level
measurement. That also was already cited as an event in Information
We have another one that is a potential failure. It
involved component cooling water pumps due to steam intrusion from a
postulated high energy line break. Sunil will say a little bit more
about that in a few minutes.
The next slide summarizes the current status of the 1999
event reviews. We started reviewing 1999 events in May. This is out of
date by a few weeks.
We screened about 630 LERs, which represents about 40
percent of the total number that we anticipate for the year.
Two hundred and forty of those have gone through an engineer
review. They have been screened in by the SCSS algorithm.
So far we have identified 23 events that required detailed
We completed 11 preliminary analyses. So far one event has
been identified from preliminary results as a precursor. We sent it to
the licensee and it is currently under licensee review.
There are several developments that have occurred the last
year that resulted in changes in the agency's programs and activities.
One of them was development and implementation of the
reactor oversight process, which was mentioned just a minute ago, and
the other one was the approval and implementation of Reg Guide 1.174.
The SPAR Models Users Group (SMUG), which Ed will now talk
about, was formed to coordinate model development for these activities.
With no further ado, I will turn it over.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let's take a break now.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Back on the record.
MR. RODRICK: My name is Ed Rodrick. I work in the
Operating Experience Risk Analysis Branch. As Pat O'Reilly indicated, I
will talk about the SPAR model users group and the SPAR development
Here is your opportunity to find out everything you wanted
to know about SPAR models.
The objective of the program is to provide standardized
plant analysis risk models for use by the NRC in their risk-informed
regulation at operating nuclear power plants.
It used to be simplified plant analysis risk models. The
degree of simplifications has diminished such that we call them
As Pat also alluded to, earlier on this year they changed
responsibility for the SPAR model development program from PRAB to our
branch as part of the reorganization. I should mention along with that
they got me.
Prior to the reorganization it was a combined AEOD and NRR
user need letter sent to Research which identified the simplified
methodologies that they wanted to have developed so that they could do
events analyses or other analyses for the risk-informed regulatory
aspects of the requirements of their branch.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why does it have to be simplified? Is it
the PRA now?
MR. RODRICK: Pretty close. I have a backup slide that I
brought with me that will show you where the revision 3 of the level 1
models is going. We have gotten to the point where it looks almost like
an 1150 model
In any case, those are the types of various models that we
were asked to produce.
Contracts were put in place to develop 72 plant specific
level 1 models. In fact 72 were produced, and they are revision 2 of
the level 1 models. We call then Rev. 2 QA's because we had Sandia
review each one of the 72 models that Idaho ha produced for us.
At the same time we put a contract together for 10 detailed
prototype large early release frequency models.
We also put in a contract to develop an example PWR and BWR
ASP low power and shutdown model.
We didn't get to the BWR low power and shutdown model
because prior to my becoming project manager the people had decided that
they would try to extend the PWR model that they had done for Surry to
another PWR model to see how effective it would be. So they moved on to
a second PWR model, and that was Sequoyah.
We also had to develop a methodology to analyzes precursors
to seismic and fire initiated events.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is that utilized now?
MR. RODRICK: No, it isn't, George.
MR. BONACA: Could you go back a little bit. I would like
to ask you a question. The 72 plant specific level 1 models, are they
72 plant specific, individual power plants?
MR. RODRICK: Yes. Sometimes they represent two plants at a
site. That's why there are only 72 of them.
MR. BONACA: They detail levels 1's?
MR. RODRICK: Yes.
MR. MAYS: When you say detail, I think that's the key
point. The Rev. 2 SPAR models, the level 1 analyses have event trees
and go down to the major component level, but they don't go down to the
subcomponent and support system and other pieces of the model.
MR. BONACA: Once you had the done, did you have use them
against the IPEs or compare them?
MR. MAYS: We had Sandia come in and do an independent check
of them. During the process we were using them and are using them in
the accident sequence precursor program analysis, so that whenever we
use them and find something to be a precursor, that analysis goes out to
the utilities for their review. But we did not send the whole batch of
them for review and comment.
In order to do that, by the way, if we want to have 72 plant
specific things go out, we have to go through the Office of Management
and Budget and justify why we are asking them to do that. So there are
some other reasons that affect that.
MR. BONACA: Even if you are at the system level, that is a
massive undertaking, it seems to me. The FSAR doesn't contain much of
the information that you need to do the modeling.
MR. MAYS: We also used the IPE information that we had to
help us when we were checking the models. We benchmarked the results of
these Rev. 2 models against other PRAs and NUREG-1150 plants and things
of that nature to get an idea that they were in the right ball park.
MR. SEALE: Would it be fair to characterize the LERF models
as being containment specific as opposed to plant specific?
MR. RODRICK: Exactly so.
MR. SEALE: So what you do is you plug one of those 72 plant
models in as the initiator to the LERF; is that the idea?
MR. RODRICK: That's exactly right. In fact, the LERF
models that we have developed so far is that it is an integrated model,
integrated level 1, which gives you the plant damage states which are
fed right into the containment model. So someone can pick up and make a
change anyplace either in the front end or the back end of calculate
what the impact is.
MR. SEALE: You guys are almost consistent or logical. The
only thing that is illogical is using Sequoyah.
MR. UHRIG: It was sort of logical that it determined
whether it could be transferred to an ice condenser, wasn't it?
MR. RODRICK: Another PWR. It is just a matter of
extrapolation of what they tried to do the first time once they
originally had a detailed low power shutdown model to an ASP type model,
which was simplified compared to the detailed model. They wanted to see
if it could the same thing with another PWR without having the detailed
model to come from. That was the intent at the time.
This is the difference between where we are now with the
Rev. 2 QA models and the Rev. 3 models which are attempting to start to
produce currently. You can see that the initiating events that we have
in the Rev. 3 models have increased significantly over what has been
there previously, large LOCAs, IS LOCA, and a number of support system
The fault trees.
The top events in the event trees have increased from 50 to
We've increased the number of systems significantly.
Basically the support systems have been added, which was big problem
with the Rev. 2 QA models. We have gotten a lot of feedback about that.
Operator actions. We have used a standardized methodology
that we use for SPAR models now so that if someone else picks up the
model, they can use the same procedure and methods and forms and come
out with the same result, hopefully.
Common cause failure. We have changed from the multiple
Greek letter method to use the alpha method, according to what you heard
from Dale Rasmuson.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why are there two entries there? It says
common cause, similar components. That is what the multiple Greek
letter method does.
MR. RODRICK: Yes. It's the same.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If a utility has developed a risk monitor,
how is this different from that?
MR. RODRICK: I'm not familiar with the details of the risk
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: They take their PRA and computerize it.
MR. RODRICK: I'm not sure that they take their whole PRA.
My understanding is that they take the results and computerize that and
then take things out of commission as you go along.
MR. MAYS: I think it varies. There are several that have
models. To do a risk monitor, which is kind of an online instantaneous
determination of what the core damage probability rate is as a function
of things, you have to change the models substantially.
One thing you do is you take out all the unavailabilities
associated with testing and maintenance from your model, because at the
particular point in time you are going to use it you know exactly which
ones are or aren't in. So that is different. It's an instantaneous
kind of thing as opposed to what is the time average.
So these models we are talking about here would be different
from that standpoint.
There are other changes as well, and they have simplified
their models by collapsing groups of things to make it quicker and
easier to run in a short time frame.
A risk monitor is intended to do something fundamentally
different than what we are trying to do. So there are some differences
in the model.
If somebody had a risk monitor, it wouldn't necessarily be
good for calculating accident sequence precursor situations, because it
wouldn't be designed to take into account I had a condition for three
months. It is designed to take into account today, right now, I have
one AFW pump, one diesel generator, one CCW pump out of service, and
that means if I stay in this condition, I will have some buildup of risk
associated with that.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Plus we are changing things like human
performance with regard to recovery. That is not usually changed in the
risk monitors. We are changing common cause failure and equipment
performance numbers based on the incidents that have occurred. That is
not usually changed in the risk monitor. So the risk monitor is not
really a risk monitor.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think it does what Steve said.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes. It's more of an assessment of how
unavailability planning can be done with some sort of an online meter,
if you will.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So this is closer to a PRA.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: When you say human operator actions use
standardized methodology, eventually that will be ATHENA?
MR. RODRICK: I think we will stay in close contact with the
PRA branch to see where they are going with ATHENA. If it fits, yes, we
will use it. Certainly I think we would like to address errors of
commission, but currently that is not the case.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You are not addressing errors of
MR. RODRICK: No. We are just using similar methodologies
to everybody else.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I have a question. The first bullet, it's
really 72 plant-specific level 1 models for internal events only.
MR. RODRICK: That's correct.
I would like to point out that we have made the most headway
on the models identified in the first two bullets. In the last to areas
we haven't had sufficient personnel on staff to be able to direct the
progress in those two areas. So we really haven't done much past what
was here to begin with nor have we done much with the last bullet
MR. BONACA: Do you quantify those level 1 models?
MR. RODRICK: Yes, sir.
MR. BONACA: Did you come close to the IPE values?
MR. RODRICK: In some instances that is correct. The SPAR
models are the models that are used for the accident sequence precursor
analysis. Those are the models that are used to analyze whether or not
an event that has occurred is a precursor. When we get finished with
the analysis we send it to the licensees, and sometimes we find out
there are differences.
MR. BONACA: But in the cases where did not come close to
the IPE results, do you understand why?
MR. RODRICK: We haven't done a systematic check against all
of the licensees' IPEs.
MR. BARANOWSKY: But we should, and we will. There is no
reason why we should not understand why we have a different result from
the IPE. We may not agree with what is in the IPE, because they have
different pump seal models and things like that.
MR. BONACA: At least it would be important to understand
the drivers behind the big differences.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Right.
MR. RODRICK: We have been in touch with a number of
licensees who have volunteered to give us their models, and the two I
know off hand are Kewaunee and Calvert Cliffs. I'm sorry, Millstone 2.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We are still looking at the best way to QA
these models right now. We have some ideas. Certainly one test is
understanding differences between what this model has and what the IPE
MR. RODRICK: In response to the evolution to the
risk-informed regulation and also in response the fact that we have got
an increased number of users these days, we formulated the SPAR model
users group, SMUG.
You will see that there are three major functions for this
We have identified the users so that everybody has their
input to the models that we are going to develop. This is a touchstone
for everybody. This is different than what had taken place previously.
We are really trying to make sure that everybody who uses these models
has a say in what it is that is being developed and that the management
of the groups that they represent are on board and are willing to
The second bullet identifies the fact that there really are
diverse organizations. I will show you the groups in the next slide.
The last bullet identifies the fact that once the models are
in place we will also be sharing experiences and how we use them and
what problems we had and how we can make them better.
This slide simply shows the number of groups that are
involved in the SPAR model users group. There are 8 groups. Actually
there are more people represented on the SMUG simply because each one of
the regions has one senior reactor analyst that participates in this
activity. There are 4 groups from NRR, 4 from Research.
The top five are the heaviest users of the SPAR models. The
remaining three are light users, if you will, and only use them when
they have a particular study they want to address.
This is an interesting slide. This is input from the SMUG.
I think the main feature of this slide is that everybody has the level 1
models as a high priority. The other various models are different,
depending on which particular function they support within the agency.
This is work in progress. We have only had three meetings,
and we gotten to the point at least where we have identified what it is
that people want, but it's going to change again, I'm sure.
MR. SEALE: That's interesting. Apparently the Region II
guys have seen the light as far as low power shutdown is concerned,
MR. MAYS: They are in the dark, depending on their
MR. SEALE: Either that or they are intimidated by Dana
MR. RODRICK: The key to the Region II guys is the Region II
guys only want it for a few plants. They are not interested in shutdown
for everything. They have some plants that they believe are problems,
and they want to see only those.
MR. MAYS: The point is you can see we have got our work cut
out for us to make sure we get this stuff specified, agreed to, the
priorities set, and the support to make it happen occur.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Where is Region I?
MR. MAYS: You're in it. Region I is basically the
MR. RODRICK: King of Prussia is the home office. Atlanta
is Region II, Chicago is Region II, and Arlington, Texas, is Region IV.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: They don't have a seismic SPAR?
MR. RODRICK: You can see from the chart that some of the
people want external events. Fire is highlighted because those are the
ones that they spoke about. It would be under consideration as we go
MR. BARANOWSKY: I'm even surprised to see my branch doesn't
have it rated as a high priority.
MR. RODRICK: If everything is a high priority, then nothing
is a high priority.
As you can see from this slide, these are the recent results
that we have accomplished along the way.
We continued the maintenance of the 72 existing Rev. 2 QA
We have developed a preliminary onsite review process where
we have gone to the site to check what we have in the model is indeed
what exists at the site.
We have completed 3 level 1 revision models using this
onsite review process.
In addition, we have also completed 7 Rev. 3 SPAR models,
and we call them 3i because they are interim because we haven't agreed
that what we have done is okay as part of the review process. That will
be part of the SMUG agreement also.
For the large early release frequency models we had intended
to develop 10. We have developed 6 PWR containment types and 2 of the 4
we had originally identified for the BWRs.
We made this presentation on the LERF models at not the last
water reactor safety meeting but the one previously. During that
meeting we were criticized for carrying forward phenomenology from the
1150 studies which are quite old now into the LERF models as we have
Consequently, we had the contractors go back and look at the
phenomenology which needed to be updated. So we finished that scoping
study and identified what needs to be done to update the models
We also did a code change which the models run in to be able
to allow the analyst to identify what the contribution is from changing
something in the level 1 area to the impact on the level 2 area. Prior
to this particular change that feature wasn't available because
everything gets collapsed into plant damage states and it is difficult
to break things out of there. So they made the code change that allows
this to happen.
MR. UHRIG: You can do a Bayesian type thing to study the
MR. RODRICK: We could do that, yes.
MR. BONACA: How do you update the PRAs? Updating to
reflect the configuration of a plant is a major issue at each plant.
MR. RODRICK: It takes such a long time to develop all 70
models. At the rate we are going now, we are probably not going to be
finished until the end of 2001 to get all of our revisions 3 done. At
that point in time the plants may have changed.
If we are going to do these models on a regular basis -- the
SRAs currently use them now -- it certainly would be within the realm of
having them keep us informed that the plant has changed, and then we
could update the model. We will have a contractor for maintenance of
the models, and this should be part of it.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Mr. Christie has a question.
MR. CHRISTIE: Can you go back one slide. The second and
third bullets say you had onsite review. What is involved in an onsite
MR. RODRICK: The contractor developed the model according
to the information they derived from the SSARs and the IPEs and any
other information they could gather. We brought the models with us and
the contractor presented information. He went through the event trees,
the fault trees, the reliability analysis, test and maintenance with the
SRAs and the resident inspectors to ensure that what we were saying and
what we were assuming was in fact the case.
When we had questions, we looked at operating procedures and
current P&IDs and electrical drawings. If in fact we had further
questions and we were undecided as to where we were, we posed the
questions to the licensee. At all three of the plants the licensee was
willing to come in and talk to us, either their operations staff or
their PRA staff or even their licensing staff came in.
MR. MAYS: This is about a 3 day effort at each plant.
MR. CHRISTIE: But you were able to talk to operations and
MR. RODRICK: Yes.
MR. MAYS: On site.
MR. CHRISTIE: Of the three days, how many of them were
devoted to those guys?
MR. RODRICK: It depends on which things.
MR. CHRISTIE: Give me an example. If you go to Calvert
Cliffs, how many days?
MR. RODRICK: At Calvert Cliffs we had somebody from their
PRA staff with us the whole time. Millstone, we had an afternoon with
two of their operations staff. I think Duane Arnold it was a similar
type. But the residents inspectors, being knowledgeable about the
plants, have a lot of information to provide to us even without their
MR. CHRISTIE: I don't know if this is a statement or
question or what. Having been the TVA PRA supervisor for many years and
having watched the Nuclear Regulatory Commission develop 1150 models at
the same time we were developing PRA models for Sequoyah and being
biased quite vehemently as to which was the better model, I would have
to say to you the same question that I've asked for 10 years, which is
why can't you use their models?
MR. RODRICK: I think there are probably a number of
reasons. One of them that jumps right out at you is if you viewed any
of the IPEs that were out there, a large number of the licensees have
MR. CHRISTIE: So you are saying to me that the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission doesn't have the capability to learn the PRAs?
MR. RODRICK: Sure we do. I don't know if we have enough
staff to have people who are experts in each plant and each methodology.
Not only the structured methodology that they used to develop the
models, but the other methodologies that they incorporate such as
common-cause failure, unreliability analysis, and how they handle those
things. Every one of the licensees, almost, use a different methodology
in those cases.
As you can see from the titles of these models, they are
standardized. The reason they are standardized is because it helps the
NRC address differences in structure of the plants and we can make
comparisons, if you will, that we couldn't make between licensees' PRAs
if we had two different methodologies going?
MR. MAYS: I will give you an example. One of the things
that came out when the IPEs first came in was there was sometimes very
large differences in the cored damage frequencies associated with
virtually the same reactor type vendors and plants. You had Fitzpatrick
coming in with the lowest core damage frequency on record at a BWR-4,
and you had other plants that were BWR-4's of similar vintage and design
that had order of magnitude or more core damage frequency.
The problem was the methodologies that were being used by
the individual licensees were different. Some were taking more credit
for recovery; some were taking less credit for recovery; some were
putting in more detailed common cause, and some were just using simple
beta factors; some were doing other things. So the problem from a use
standpoint is that the NRC would then have to be intimately familiar
with all the peculiarities of each individual model in order to
manipulate it properly.
We even saw that when we did 1150. We had people at the
agency who did 1150 and then subsequently people at the agency came back
and tried to manipulate 1150, and if they weren't aware of all the key
assumptions that made the model be the way model was, they weren't able
to get a credible result. By having standard methods and processes to
do this we hope to be able to get less of that problem.
That doesn't mean that that is the end-all and be-all
answer. Our purpose is to get an understanding of from that risk and
then compare it with what the licensees have and work out what the
differences are, and that enables us to be focused on where the
differences are between theirs and us, as opposed to saying, I've got to
review your whole PRA every time I do anything with you. That is just a
resource measure that is more effective for us.
MR. CHRISTIE: Maybe I have got to rephrase my question. Do
you intend to try to make these models at least equivalent to the plant
models that the plants have? Sooner or later there are going to be
differences. Just like at Sequoyah. There were differences between the
PRA models we used and the 1150. Unless you believe that you can make
your models -- again my biases show up -- as good as the Sequoyah
models, why are you doing it?
MR. MAYS: I have to reject your premise, Bob. I don't know
that the Sequoyah model is as good or better. I don't know if any
individual plant licensee's model is as good or better than these. I
think we haven't had an industry standard to say what constitutes good
or bad at that level.
What we have to do in that case is take an independent cut
at what we think the risk is, understand where the differences are
between our understanding and theirs, and then work out what those
differences are. It's a much more efficient way than saying everybody's
PRA is exactly the best PRA and therefore we should build models that
exactly reflect that. That doesn't make any sense to me.
MR. RODRICK: I think we are reflecting the licensees'
models. Bob, there are two SRAs in each region, and there is an average
of 18 plants in each region, and each one of those plants might have a
different methodology. We are certainly not going to expect the SRAs to
be familiar with them all. So we are trying to provide them and the
other parts of the agency with a tool that will allow them to do this.
It's as simple as that.
I think Steve's point is quite correct. In fact it goes on
now. If the SRAs use one of the SPAR models and they find out that
there are differences, it facilitates discussion, and it facilitates an
independence by the agency to say, look, we don't see it this way. Why
is it different? Then the licensee has the option to be able to explain
it and say, yeah, if everybody agrees, then everybody is happy. If they
are not, then somebody might have to take different action.
The last point. We are going to continue the evolution for
the development of the SPAR models that are under consideration, as we
Pat O'Reilly will address the future plans with the SPAR
models as part of the AFP program.
MR. MAYS: Next is Dr. Sunil Weerakkody, who will discuss
the analysis that we did on the issues of D.C. Cook.
MR. WEERAKKODY: To begin with, why we started a separate
study on D.C. Cook issues.
Item one, significant regulatory attention on D.C. Cook
issues. What we mean here is back in 1997, the August time frame, D.C.
Cook was coming up with a lot of findings with their two units, Cook 1
and Cook 2. In early September both units shut down because they
determined their sump recirculation was not appropriate.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: How did they find those things?
MR. WEERAKKODY: Through their inspections. The critical
issue that made them shut the units down was there were questions
regarding whether they would have enough water in their sump to perform
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: How can you find that out by inspection?
MR. BARANOWSKY: I think the utility either on their own or
at the NRC's behest initiated what they called an A&E level inspection
and looked the plant over to make sure the plant's design basis as built
I think they went inside containment an saw some things that
raised questions about whether or not the ice condenser would work as it
was designed in the FSAR. One thing led to another, and they looked and
found more and more things and came up with a list of problems with the
ice condensers and debris and concludes to themselves that they couldn't
justify that the system was operable.
I don't think they knew that it wouldn't operate, but I
don't think they could prove it could operate, and thus they shut down
and found many things.
MR. UHRIG: Is this problem endemic to all ice condenser
plants or is this peculiar to Cook?
MR. BARANOWSKY: I wouldn't be surprised if some of the
problems wouldn't show up at other plants such as junk in the ice
baskets and things like that.
MR. UHRIG: But in terms of an operability issue, it was not
found to be the same as the other ice condensers?
MR. MAYS: It was not.
MR. BARANOWSKY: There were a lot of things that were found
here which raised the question of whether or not the plant was designed
and operated according to its original specs and whether it was safe or
MR. WEERAKKODY: Since then, on one hand the licensee has
been publishing or reporting a large number of LERs, and on NRC's part,
there have been several inspections. Because of this and because of the
relationship to the accident sequence precursor program by which we
analyze the different LERs, we took out all the issues related to Cook
and made that a separate study.
Another point is that right now we have a benchmarking of
the significance determination process. When there are inspection
findings, these inspections findings are reviewed by a PRA screen to
determine how risk significant the findings are. We wanted to use the
D.C. Cook issues as a benchmarking of this new scheme.
MR. BARANOWSKY: In other words, when the new oversight
process gets put in place, one of the things that is going to happen
when an inspection finding is made risk significance of that inspection
finding is going to be made and we are going to take actions according
to those findings. So this is a first crack at what is involved in
doing that kind of risk significance determination. As it turns out, it
is not as easy as just pushing a button.
MR. WEERAKKODY: In terms of how we perform the analysis,
the issues that we brought in for analysis came either from the LERs or
from the inspection reports.
We took each LER or each inspection finding and assessed the
risk of each of those findings or each of those LERs, assuming that that
was the only issue at the plant, which we call the risk of individual
However, there were many questions relating to what is the
impact given that you have all these numerous issues existing at the
plants all the same time. Therefore we realized the need to perform a
combined effects analysis both from a cored damage frequency point of
view and also from a containment issue point of view.
I wanted to mention a couple of details about the combined
effort. Under the combined effort one example would be if we have 5
LERs that are related to diesel, rather than analyzing them separately,
we will take them all at once and find out where there would be any
synergistic effects among the issues, so that even though one issue by
itself wouldn't make the diesel degrade or fail, can 5 or 6 issues in
combination have a cumulative impact? We did that for the level 1
systems and also for the containment system.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That is a technique we use for any accident
sequence precursor evaluation.
MR. WEERAKKODY: Preliminary findings.
We had 119 issues identified for evaluation. This was from
August of 1997 to October 1, 1999.
We identified one issue as a potential precursor, in this
case meaning the core damage frequency change associated with this issue
on its own is greater than 10 to the minus 6.
There were 116 other issues that we determined were not risk
We have 2 other issues which we have not completed the
investigation because the licensee is still in the process of doing some
engineer evaluations that we need to complete the analysis.
We have sent out 2 sets of interim results to the licensee
and to the rest of the agency.
Details about the one precursor we have found.
The 2 Cook units have 5 component cooling water pumps, 2 for
each unit, and one spare that could support either unit.
All 5 units are located in one room. Right next to this
room there is a pipe chase. The pipe chase is separated by 3 doors that
open to the inside. The licensee does not have any calculations at all
to state the strength of the doors to withstand any pressures in that
area. Also, the doors have gaps underneath them of about 1 inch.
Given that one steam line or feed line break in that area
would cause all 5 component cooling water pumps to fail and in turn lead
to small LOCA as well as failure of injection, this came out to be risk
MR. BARANOWSKY: So one failure ends up causing a small LOCA
and a loss of the systems necessary to mitigate it. One break. That's
MR. SEALE: And there are two more in the evaluation
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I think those have to do with thermal
effects on equipment due to room heatup or something.
MR. WEERAKKODY: Yes is they're not sure they have got the
heatup calculations in those buildings correct. We don't know what the
calculations would tell us.
The other one is their high pressure safety injection
system. They have mentioned that a couple of valves could fail the
MR. SEALE: These two issues clearly survive, I guess is the
way to say it. The 116 you rejected, most of them were rejected on the
basis of a preliminary screen, I would guess. So these are issues which
have a good chance of being above your 10 to the minus 6. Also for
significance, I assume.
MR. WEERAKKODY: I would say they have some potential. When
we did the screening there were a lot of issues which we could
disposition very easily based on a qualitative examination.
Then there were some other issues, like this one, where we
would need either additional information or detailed engineering
calculations from the licensee or from someplace else. I put this in
MR. BARANOWSKY: It is also interesting to note a couple of
things about the containment issues that originally started this. None
of them were ultimately found to be risk significant. The reason is
after detailed engineering evaluation the sump recirculation capability
was found to be, although slightly degraded, still capable of performing
the safety function.
There were things that weren't done in compliance with good
housekeeping, and so forth, that looked pretty lousy on the surface, but
when you looked at how does it impact the plant's capability to actually
provide ECCS water, and so forth, during the recirculation phase, both
the NRC and the licensee concluded that in fact those systems would
MR. SEALE: I'm intrigued. We had one heck of a time with
exactly those kinds of problems when we had the AP600 review. We were
talking about conditions under which natural recirculation would occur
and wouldn't occur. Yet apparently you had no great problem in coming
up with your finding here.
MR. BARANOWSKY: This was whether or not the sump in
containment would be clogged up with enough junk over the screens and
things that there would be sufficient flow area for the water to go
through and feed the suction of the pumps without causing cavitation and
whatever. I don't remember all the details.
MR. BONACA: But you went through a detailed analysis.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The licensee and NRC, not us, engineers who
are familiar with this went through it and made the conclusion.
MR. BONACA: The report shows a lot of details about that.
MR. UHRIG: Did they have the expanded intake system?
MR. WEERAKKODY: They don't have anything special.
MR. SEALE: This is a PWR.
MR. O'REILLY: By virtue of wrap-up here, I wanted to just
briefly touch on the future plans that the ASP program has formulated.
Obviously we are going to complete the final analyses of the
1998 events and we will provide the results to the licensees for their
information. We will then complete and issue the 1998 report. That is
scheduled right now for sometime in January.
Also it goes without saying we will continue the screening,
review and analysis of 1999 events, and we will start the same for 2000
events when we start getting them into the system.
We will continue the SMUG meetings to provide continuous
feedback and input from the customers to the model development plan.
We also want to put contracts in place that have the support
of the management of the organizations that are our prime customers.
We want to continue production of the level 1 Rev. 3 models.
In accordance with the plan currently, it is to develop 22 models during
this fiscal year.
Issue a draft NUREG report on the D.C. Cook for peer review.
That is sometime this month.
Then issue the final NUREG after we have gotten peer review
comments, and that is scheduled for April 2000.
MR. UHRIG: Is D.C. Cook coming back on line contingent upon
the NUREG in any way?
MR. O'REILLY: Not to my knowledge.
MR. BARANOWSKY: This issue is an open issue to be resolved,
but that doesn't require the NUREG. It requires the issue being
MR. SEALE: What is their status right now?
MR. BARANOWSKY: They are talking about starting up in a
couple of months. That's all I know. They think they have got a handle
on all the issues.
MR. BONACA: I want to make an observation on this second
draft risk assessment for D.C. Cook. The way it is being presented, it
talks about all the possible failures that are caused by these issues.
I am just talking about the presentation here. The findings from the
study are not so different from others. The one that was done on
Millstone, for example, in so far as the capability of the recirculation
system to be effective.
When you read this report in the beginning, you think there
is a major issue there. When you look at the details, there are
inconsistencies. You discover why you have a significant basis to
conclude that the risk is significant. When you talk about a system,
you are talking about a system as a design, and the condition under
which it has operated is so wide ranging that the conditions you are
talking about for which it may not function is just a limiting
I am trying to present the perspective that when you read
the report you think there is a basic fundamental problem with the
recirculation system at D.C. Cook. When you look at the explanation why
it isn't, you are saying, well, I wish -- I'm talking about the message
we are giving as an industry.
Look at the list here. Failure of high pressure injection
pumps due to debris ingested during sump recirculation function. The
issue is potential debris ingested during sump recirculation function.
It doesn't have to be presented as failure of high pressure injection
pumps. When I read the front page, I'm thinking that this plant is a
disaster. When I look at the results, I conclude that all these issues
are not issues and you have a significant basis.
The message we are giving to people who read these documents
is that there is a fundamental problem with this plant.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Point taken. We didn't realize that. It
wasn't our intention. We are trying to give sort of an honest, balanced
statement of what we think the risk is, and it is pretty low based on
our assessment of the 120 issues.
MR. BONACA: The reason I am bringing it up is the PRA gives
you such a better perspective than the deterministic analysis of the
risk, and that is why the risk is minute, because it is in a specific
condition, and even under that condition is very unlikely to occur.
When you characterize it with this expression from a deterministic
standpoint, it gives a message of failure. The next one is failure of
the residual heat removal pumps because of vortexing.
I just wanted to point out the importance of communications,
particularly in PRA space, because PRA gives you the ability of
addressing the spectrum of conditions under which you would have that
issue to be addressed and the specific condition where you may have a
failure is very minute.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I agree with you. I wish we could have
taken all those soft social science course at school and learned how to
MR. BONACA: Here you have a situation where we said the RHR
will not function, but the only issue was it doesn't meet the design
requirement. So it is probably degraded but functional. In PRA space
that gives you success. In deterministic space it gives you total
failure: the system doesn't work; therefore the plant operated for 10
years without a functioning recirculation system, which is a very
That is the way these things are being communicated out
there. The plant operated for 10 years with a recirculation system.
That's not true. Then you have to explain it.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That is a good point. Thanks.
MR. MAYS: The last area we are going to talk about is
risk-based performance indicators. We put the chart up here that we
presented earlier to show you which area we are going to be talking
We have been working on a program overview white paper.
This was a comment we got from the ACRS when we talked to you back in
June. We have been working on that. We had a meeting yesterday with
NRR to go over our working draft of that. We got some input and
comments from that. So we are going to be trying to put that together
The other things we were looking at is trying to make clear
to people what do we mean when we say risk-based PIs, why do we even
want to do them?
What is the benefit we get from having them in place?
What is it that they can't do? What are the areas that we
have to in the new oversight process continue with inspection because we
are not going to be able to do indicators?
Which ones we are going to try to do and what our schedule
is going to look like.
The white paper is going to go over each of those topics.
The other thing, besides saying what they are and what benefits they
are, it is going to say what kind of analysis and questions and issues
do we have to resolve in making that development occur.
Our concept of what risk-based performance indicators are.
They are quantitative measures of performance that directly
relate to risk through frequencies, availabilities, probabilities,
They can be measured objectively.
They relate to plant risk.
And they also are dependent on licensee performance.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think just about any performance
indicator you can think of falls under these three bullets, don't you
MR. MAYS: Let me give you an example of one I think
doesn't. In the current oversight process we have safety system
failures. I would say that may be a risk somewhat informed indicator,
but it is not a risk-based indicator, because the indicators we are
talking about are indications that you would directly plug in someplace
in a PRA in order to determine their effect.
So we are looking at frequencies, failure probabilities and
unavailabilities, which are the constituent building blocks of a risk
analysis as the indicators as opposed to surrogates for that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If you count the number of failures, you
are in your first bullet, right?
MR. MAYS: If you count the number of total safety system
failures. My point is it's an incomplete representation of what you
would use for a risk analysis. So it's kind of a surrogate for it.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: But you should also recognize the timing
is an important part of having indicators. If somebody says in a period
of 18 months you shall not have more than one failure of the system,
maybe he went through this process, and he says now it has to be less
than one because that is what the plant people are going to see. So I
don't know that that is a bad indicator.
MR. MAYS: I'm saying the definition of when we say
risk-based what we mean is we are looking at indicators that are
directly related to the model pieces you would put into a risk analysis.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure. If specify that I meet that over 18
months and I tell you to look for failure and there shouldn't be more
than one, in essence I am using the system availability, aren't I?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Somewhat. That could meet that definition.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I thought you were going to exclude things
like the temperature should always be less than this value.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That's true.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That directly relates to risk, because if
you exceed the temperature you are in trouble. It depends on licensee
performance and can be measured objectively.
I think you need some bullet there to discriminate the
results, to screen them out. What you really mean is PRA, reliability,
availability. Isn't that what you mean?
MR. BARANOWSKY: That's why we put the "such as" in there.
Maybe that can use some work. What we are talking about in risk-based
indicators is getting indicators of reliability, availability and
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's different. Without the "such as"
MR. BARANOWSKY: I think the reason the "such as" is in
there is you could actually formulate one like you said, no more than
one failure of this system in 18 months. That's not an availability or
a reliability necessarily; it's just a count. But I can relate it back
to risk and its objective and all this other stuff.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I guess it depends on what you mean by
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes. Let me go back to that. I think
there is a considerable amount of discussion in the agency recently
about do you mean when you say you are being risk-based versus
There was a white paper that was put out by the Commission,
and basically the definition of risk-informed is activities that use
risk as one of the inputs in understanding the significance of as
opposed to risk-based, which would be a calculation of a parameter from
a risk analysis that you would do something with. We're saying the
indicators we are trying to look at are ones of more of the latter
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand that, but the example I gave
you is also the same.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I understand.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's risk-based.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes. It can be directly calculated or
inferred from the calculation.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That was my next comment. We have
discussed this performance-based regulation, and people always say
measure. Measure or calculate.
MR. MAYS: The key thing I wanted to talk about on this, I
think the key word that was asked by the ACRS and other people of us
when we talk about performance indicators is what performance are you
talking about. We want to make sure people understand we are talking
about the entire suite of activities that the licensee does in design,
construction, procurement, operation that relate directly to the
achievement of the cornerstone objectives in the new reactor oversight
That is the performance that we are measuring, and we are
trying to do it in a risk way.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Am I correct in understanding that your
risk-based performance indicators have a probability, a concept of
MR. MAYS: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So an indicator based on temperature may
satisfy your bullets, but that's not what you mean, because it doesn't
have any probability. The criterion is the temperature shall always be
less than 3200 degrees. That's fine. That's an indicator. But that is
not really a risk-based performance indicator, because you didn't give
me the probability or the frequency of doing that. Is that a correct
interpretation of your definition?
MR. BARANOWSKY: That's correct. I don't want to say you
could never come up with an indicator like that because there could be
some probability of exceeding that temperature that you would say, well,
I want to put the cutoff over here.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: When you have your risk-based performance
indicators, will the agency also need another set of indicators to do
MR. BARANOWSKY: It will probably some others.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: They will probably have some others or
they will have some others?
MR. BARANOWSKY: I can't say for sure. I'm just saying
probabilistically they will have others.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You are excluding the deterministic
MR. BARANOWSKY: I don't think I can exclude those, because
it's a risk-informed approach. We are doing the risk-based part of it.
So there might be a complementary deterministic element that goes along
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It probably will.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Most likely, yes. I think risk-informed
runs all the way risk-based to barely considering risk at all.
MR. MAYS: The benefits. Why would we want to go about and
do risk-based PIs?
The first thing we were looking at were what are the
limitations or the potential areas for improvement of the current
reactor oversight performance indicators.
The first thing we came to was there is limited risk
coverage in full operation for internal events and no coverage at all on
shutdown and external events in the current oversight process and the
The indicators that are in the new process have thresholds
that are not plant specific.
The current way that we combine all of the findings from
indicators and inspection findings through the action matrix to
determine what the agency should do has a limited ability to do that in
a risk-informed way and a consistent way.
It is more an intuitive thing where more whites is worse
than a few whites and yellows are worse than whites and and reds are
worse than those, and it doesn't get too much more sophisticated than
that, because those are areas that were generally considered to be
orders of magnitude changes in the risk and the agency philosophy there
was we'll find out what general order of magnitude we are in and we will
be able to decide what more we need to do to engage the licensees
further. So it wasn't designed at that point to be any more consistent
What we are planning on doing in the risk-based performance
indicators is covering more of the risk performance by getting
reliability indicators for risk-important system, trains and component.
There are currently in the oversight process no reliability indicators.
We were going to expand the unavailability indicators to
more risk-significant systems and trains. The current one has train
level unreliabilities on a few systems.
We are going to also include indications of performance
during shutdown, operating modes, and external events to the extent that
we have data and information to be able to do that.
That is what we are going to do to cover more of the risk
performance in indicator space.
The second thing we are going to do is the thresholds for
each one of these is going to be plant specific. If you have a diesel
generator failure to start probability as your indicator and you've got
2 diesel generators at your plant, another person has 5 diesel
generators at their plant, the threshold should be different because the
risk implications of failure are different. So we are going to make
those kinds of adjustments in the thresholds.
The other thing is that the combination of the models and
information that we are going to be using to set the thresholds and
evaluate these risk-based performance indicators is going to give us a
consistent framework to compare the risk-significance of inspection
findings and the PIs in a consistent way.
MR. CHRISTIE: Bob Christie from Performance Technology. At
PSA-99 down at the Willard you were asked a question how much we are now
covering in risk indicators, and you gave then 10 or 20 percent, and you
intended hopefully some day to get up in the 80 to 90 percent. Has
anything changed since then and today that means you are covering more,
or are you exactly the same as you were at the Willard.
MR. MAYS: We haven't done any more analysis on that. We
intend to as part of the program here be able to discuss how much of the
risk that the risk-based performance indicators will cover when we get
them. Also to specify what risk-significant areas of performance they
don't cover so that those will be explicitly covered in the inspection
MR. CHRISTIE: As far as the first four cornerstones,
initiating event, mitigating systems, containment analysis, emergency
planning, basically the same performance indicators that you were
talking about at Willard are still going to be used and put in place in
MR. MAYS: The schedule has changed somewhat, but we are
still looking at the same indicators. The table you will see later on
is the same table we presented then.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think we all agree with you on the
benefits, and if you don't mind, could you go to number 8, unless you
have something real important to say.
MR. MAYS: The only other thing I was going to say on number
7 was that when we talked about using this process to also get
information, a trending at the industry level, especially for things
like steam general tube rupture frequencies and other things, we got
quite a positive response from NRR because they are looking at things
that they need to do to look at how the industry is doing overall in
addition to individual plants.
This is a table that we presented the ACRS back and June,
and as Bob mentioned, at the PSA-99 conference. This hasn't changed
What we are doing now is we are engaged in gathering the
data and trying out the models and determining which of these we are
able to do and what information we are able to glean from them and how
we are able to set thresholds. We are involved right now in looking at
these and looking at the data and trying to put these together.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe you have done, but in terms of
presentation that doesn't sit well with me. I would expect some sort of
a logical approach to say here is how we are going to approach it and
here are the criteria we are going to use to define the risk-based
To present a table like this and then say now we are going
to justify why -- does anybody else have the same problem with this?
What is the logic of looking at train level reliability and
availability, for emergency diesels, auxiliary feedwater, and so on? If
I do all that, then what have I achieved, and how do I know that I have
controlled the risk.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I see your point. We are missing the
figure we presented to you back in June. I didn't bring a copy of it,
and I apologize.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is that in your paper from PSA-99?
MR. BARANOWSKY: It is in the paper from PSA-99, and it was
in the presentation in June where we laid out the picture of what are
the elements that constitute the risk and at what levels would we be
gathering information. We would say this is why we would do component
level and train level and system level. That was in that. I assume
that having previously done that, for brevity we didn't need to do that.
I was obviously wrong.
MR. MARKLEY: Is this covered in the white paper?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes, it is covered in the white paper. It
will be covered in the white paper.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: When is this coming out?
MR. BARANOWSKY: We have it written. We had a meeting
yesterday with NRR and went over this. They would like us to recast a
few things because they felt the message didn't come out quite right.
Also, they would like us to look at the priority on some
things. For instance, they really need some help on barriers as early
as possible. So we are looking at rescheduling some of these things.
The other factor is when we put a schedule, which is the
next viewgraph, we have got this sort of long, drawn out do the
analysis, have lots of technical review, meet with the public, and all
that stuff, and it takes literally 18 months to take a simple idea and
get it into practice. What they want to do is focus more on the first
preliminary analyses, if you will, which will be done in a few months,
about six months. I think that is the most significant short-term
element of the program that they want to focus on, because that will
give you a good picture of what the likely success is for a number of
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So we are going to see it next time around
MR. BARANOWSKY: The first thing you are going to see is
this white paper in a few weeks, after we recast the front matter a
little bit. We might have an hour or two meeting about that paper after
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: How long is the white paper?
MR. BARANOWSKY: About 30 or 40 pages.
MR. MAYS: Something like that, yes.
MR. BARANOWSKY: It is another one of these 30 or 40 pages
that only takes about a month to do. It took us six months.
MR. MAYS: That's six calendar months; that's not six person
MR. BARANOWSKY: Then I think in the summer we will have a
more substantial product with all the analyses, intervals in time, and
the formulations worked out, and that is a much more extensive kind of
review and evaluation.
MR. SEALE: But the net effect of all of this hopefully is
you are going to have performance indicators where one performance
indicator will be enough to give rise to significant concerns about risk
changes. They are not going to be so insensitive that you are going to
need half a dozen performance indicators before you begin to get an idea
that maybe there is a problem.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I'm not completely sure because of the
hierarchy of the way the indicators are set up is. For instance, there
will be a number of system train level indicators. Then they can be
linked together through a model and give you one indicator, if you will,
and that could say there is a problem here. Then you could go back down
to the trains and see where is the problem.
At the same time -- we just talked this over yesterday with
NRR -- we will probably have some component level indicators that go
across trains, like for pumps or for valves, and you can see whether
there is a valve program problem at the plant. So you might get valve
program indications but not train reliability problems, because it is
spread out among a number of systems.
That is the kind of thing they want to be able to have.
It's quite sensitive if you could have a lot of valves in the indicator,
because more data and early indications will show up, and you can
MR. SEALE: You understand what my problem is.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes.
MR. SEALE: These performance indicators, as they have
listed so far, don't tell me anything quick enough.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Right. They 3 years before you can get a
confirmation that there is a problem, at which time you already knew it.
MR. SEALE: You're already in it.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That is what we are trying to get away
MR. MAYS: That's why the thing we talked about earlier on
the EPIX and the RADs and data is so critical, because you have to have
an appropriate input of data with a sufficient density in an appropriate
model to be able to say whether or not the performance is having an
impact on risk. What we are trying to do is put all those pieces
MR. BARANOWSKY: That's a good point. The current
indicators are driven by LER data, which is relatively sparse. It's
about 1,000 LERs per year or something like that.
MR. MAYS: Yes.
MR. BARANOWSKY: There are going to be thousands of
component level type indications that come through EPIX per year. So
the data density is about a factor of 10 right there.
MR. MAYS: The quality and completeness and the percentage
of participation of the industry in this voluntary program, which again
was originally set up as an alternative to the reliability/availability
data rule, is going to be key for us to be able to have enough data and
have the credibility of that data to be able to justify what we are
trying to do with performance indicators.
This schedule is something we worked out. It is going to
change as a result of the talks we had with NRR. We are going to get
together with them and negotiate this. This gives you a general idea of
about when you should be seeing things.
We are hoping in the summertime to be able to give you some
actual results of uses of data and models and thresholds to look at and
be talking with the public, and then we will go on from there.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Do you know how you are going to develop
MR. MAYS: We are going to use the concepts that were in the
current reactor oversight process, and that is the green/white
interfaces, the point where you distinguish significant difference
between the normal variation among the plants. The white/yellow
interface is one which roughly corresponds to a change in core damage
frequency of about 10 to the minus 5. The yellow/red interface is one
where it would correspond to a change in the core damage frequency of 10
to the minus 4.
What we will be doing is taking our SPAR models, taking the
values from the indicators for the performance and saying, okay, when
that value changes by how much, what does that correspond to for the
white and the yellow and the red interfaces, and build them that way.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think it would be a good idea to have a
subcommittee meeting before you actually develop all these things now
that you have a good idea how you want to do it and before you invest
too many resources.
I would hate to disagree with you next summer. If you guys
feel it's not worth it, we don't have to do it.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I don't have a problem with it. Why don't
we talk about it in a couple of months.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: When you have your thoughts put together.
MR. BARANOWSKY: They are probably pretty well together now.
We just need a couple of cracks at to see where it's coming out.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Then maybe we can meet. It's this
business of risk communication. Bring the stakeholders into the process
as early as you can.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Right.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: We are stakeholders, and I think it would
be a good idea.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The main characteristic is that we are
still planning on working on a delta change as opposed to an absolute
value. I think that is probably the main characteristic of the
threshold approach. That is the current one that is in place.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. These kinds of things, I would like
to have some time to discuss them. Maybe half a day or two or three
MR. MAYS: As a matter of fact, we would prefer coming and
talking to the subcommittee about these issues and working these things
before going to the full committee on any of these. I think that is a
better way to go.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Why don't we try to work with ACRS folks on
defining a couple of key technical issues that you folks are interested
in and ones we think we want to bounce off of people. So we can bring
them up at the meeting. And we will get NRR folks there too.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure. Maybe what we can do is see what
subcommittee meeting we are going to have in March sometime.
MR. BARANOWSKY: That's a good time.
MR. MAYS: I think the other message to take from the
schedule change and from our conversations with NRR, they are still in
the process of evaluating the lessons learned from the pilots, and then
they are going to go into an implementation phase for the industry.
It is probably premature to get too far along in terms of
what we are going exactly have or not have in this thing until we have a
little more experience with what we currently have. I don't think NRR
is anxious to go running headlong into pushing the industry into a brand
new set of indicators one year after they just pushed the new ones on
them. So there is an expanded time frame that is now evident that
wasn't evident two years ago when we started this project. So there is
an opportunity to take that time to do that in a more systematic way.
Also, we may find that NRR says we don't need a wholesale
change of all the stuff; we just need a few pieces out of what you have
got here to augment what we already have. That is also part of the
conversation we are having, to determine how this should be put
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Are there any questions from the members
of the staff? From members of the public?
MR. BONACA: Just one comment. It is impressive process and
I am encouraged. It seems to have a good closure on the cornerstones
and much more substance to monitor performance.
I have been critical of some of the cornerstones in the
past, but I feel with this kind of work being done, I think there is a
lot of substance for monitoring, and also for making licensees very much
aware of where the performance is expected to be. So I'm very
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Thank you very much. We appreciate it.
We are going to go around the table. You are welcome to
stay. This is a public meeting.
There are two questions to the members. Should we recommend
the committee write a letter, and if so, what should the letter say?
Who wants to go first.
MR. SEALE: You already heard me earlier. I guess I haven't
heard anything that has changed my mind.
All of the Commissioners are not completely aware from
personal experience with what led up to the midnight massacre a year ago
when AEOD went away. At the time a lot of us expressed a concern that
there were important elements of the AEOD role, mission, and so on, that
had to be preserved in one way or another in the new organization if the
Commission was going to be best served in that area, and that in doing
that the credibility and independence of that process had to be
I won't say that I think there has been a loss of that,
because I believe the people that we heard from today have been very
careful to preserve their objectivity. It is pretty clear they talk to
the people around them so that they are not getting isolated, but they
are not talking to the Commissioners. I guess I would like us to do
what we can to help them get a route up to them to let them know what is
going on, and that that element of independence is still important, and
it is vulnerable in the long run unless we do things to protect it.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right. Are you done?
MR. SEALE: Yes.
MR. UHRIG: One additional thought. I don't think it serves
much to have any connotations in such a letter that the NRC was stupid
to do what they did. They may have been stupid, but that is beside the
point. What you have to have here is just what Bob said, mainly that
this function is still very important and the independence is very
important and that there has to be more communication of the outcome of
this process to the Commission itself and the organization as a whole.
I think Bob's point is valid about what happened to this
function that used to be AEOD.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I guess we should also list some of the
benefits. This is really validation of the risk assessment.
MR. BONACA: Absolutely.
MR. SEALE: It is intriguing to me that every time these
guys come down to see us we learn things. It is not standing still; it
is moving forward, and I think that is important.
MR. BONACA: One thing that we have always heard is that the
staff should have a model in hand to be able to evaluate changes, and
here it is. Insofar as having an independent model, I think actually we
should support that. To rely on the licensees' models is not
appropriate even if the licensees' model may be better.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let me understand that. When you, both
Bobs, talk about independence of process, you mean independent from who?
MR. SEALE: The concern I have is that the NRR people -- I'm
talking in the classic NRR role -- had a perspective on what was
happening in the plants.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. My use of the word is different.
MR. SEALE: I know that. But both of those points are
equally valid. The thing is that when AEOD in the traditional sense
carried out an assessment it was perhaps but not necessarily
confirmatory of the NRR position, but it was an independent
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand.
MR. SEALE: His point, though, is another one. When Bob
Christie was talking about here, it was all I could do to say, yeah, and
if they took the utilities' version of the PRA, it would be the only
MR. BONACA: Plus they will never have one approach.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: The staff made that point.
MR. SEALE: It would be the only one. You know it is not
going to be the best one 72 different times for 72 different plants.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I'm glad you said that.
MR. BONACA: When you compare model A and model B and then
you try to make a reason why you have differences, you learn more from
the process than from anything else. That gives you the major insights.
I think that is very important.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So you want a letter as well?
MR. BONACA: I think so. Oftentimes Dana has expressed a
concern that the staff doesn't have even close to the capability of the
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I have disagreed.
MR. BONACA: Now I am surprised. This is the first time I
have heard this presentation at this level.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Picking up on your point, my primary
motivation why I want to write the Commissioners on this is because
then, of course, we will have an opportunity to discuss it when we meet
with them. We have had at least two new Commissioners since 1995, when
you guys presented. Maybe three.
MR. SEALE: Four actually, counting the new chairman.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I'm not sure that they are aware of the
fact that a lot of the results of the PRAs are being confirmed by this
branch, and I really want to bring up again the issue of the reactor
safety study. When these guys did the work, a lot of the work withstood
the test of time. So I think it would be an excellent opportunity for
us to bring up these issues and maybe some of the benefits.
Mario, I interrupted you.
MR. BONACA: The other issue of the communication process is
just an observation.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Communication to whom? To the Commission?
MR. BONACA: I'm talking about communication in the reports.
It is important that we really moved from deterministic time to
probabilistic time. Now we have models that allow you to communicate
the perspective on what the issues mean.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let me ask this question of staff. Are
there any studies along the same vein that you would like to do and
can't do because you don't have the resources?
I realize that you don't have enough people to do the work
you are expected to do now. Are we doing everything we can do in the
area of using experience and processing it and cast it in the PRA
MR. MAYS: That is a pretty broad question, George. Let me
give you a cut at what I think. When we put together the first plan for
risk-based analysis of reactor operating experience a long time ago, we
had a concept of what we thought we needed to do to bring that
information to bear into the regulatory process. A lot of things have
changed since then. The whole process has changed for oversight and
I don't know of any particular areas of analysis of reactor
operating experience that we haven't been able to identify as something
that would be useful to do. I think the key issue is the entire process
of how you use and do reactor oversight is changing.
What is most important to me is making sure that what we are
going to do is going to fulfill a need in that oversight process and is
going to be useful in that process. There might be lots of things that
would be intellectually interesting to go out and find, but I'm not
terribly interested in going and finding analyses of things that have
very limited use in that process.
From the standpoint of focusing our work on things that
would be appropriate in that oversight process, I think we have
identified at least all the major areas in terms of SPAR models, in
terms of risk-based performance indicators, in terms of system level,
plant-specific level analyses and developing insights. There might be
ways of doing that in particular styles or particular formats that might
be more effective or better or more appealing than others, but I think
that is just part of the natural evolution of where the agency is going.
I don't know of any significant holes or areas we want to go
look at that we are not already planning to do or haven't already done
at some level. I think the big issue is making that stuff go into the
Pat has something to say.
MR. BARANOWSKY: First of all, we are trying to make sure we
have enough staff just to do what we talked about doing here. We are
currently in danger of not having the people to just even do that.
That is why when you asked earlier about writing a 30-page
thing, I'm saying, wow, I'm already having trouble getting people to
work on low power and shutdown models, the external event models, and we
are going have to shift people off both the system and the component
studies to support some of that. So picking up new work is beyond
belief for me at this point.
Nonetheless, I still think that there are a couple of things
that we might want to look at that we haven't even tried to formulate
some ideas on.
One is do the same kind of look at human performance
operating experience like we have done with systems and components. Not
trying to create an ATHENA model or anything like that, but just trying
to say how can you taken this information in sort of a risk framework
and say what kind of risk-significant human performance activities has
the operating experience told us we ought to keep an eye on. Just like
we do with the components. I don't see that anywhere.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Jack Rosenthal is doing this.
MR. BARANOWSKY: If he is doing it, good.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Have you talked to him?
MR. BARANOWSKY: No.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: It might be helpful.
MR. BARANOWSKY: They are putting together databases and
things like that to support human reliability analysis.
MR. SEALE: Right.
MR. BARANOWSKY: I don't know if he is doing it or not, but
I'm just saying that is one area.
The second things is, as we are developing more
understanding for external events and things like that, why wouldn't we
do the same thing there? What are we seeing from these problems that
are cropping up at plants with regard to external events that might give
us a slightly different perspective on what is important and focusing
our attention there?
The whole business that I'm in here is taking the operating
experience an asking myself, what does that tell me versus what we
thought was important for models that are 10 years old, for instance,
which some of the current insights from the external events are
The same thing would be true for containment. No one is
doing very much on containment-related issues.
Those are the areas that I see us having sort of a hole from
our operating experience: human performance, the containment, and the
external events. Then just to continue on with what we have takes a
certain level of staff, and I am just juggling them around trying to
cover all the bases.
MR. BONACA: On a related issue, do you have all the support
you need from the industry? Clearly you need to have a true flow of
information coming in. You seem to be sharing some of the tools anyway.
MR. BARANOWSKY: The biggest issue right now is the support
that would exist for the EPIX data system.
Today we talked about the reactor protection system. I
think, George, you probably did some RPS analyses back in the late 1970s
or early 1980s. At least that is when I did them. We had no data. I
can't believe how we made these estimates. The stuff we have nowadays
is unbelievable. I feel very confident about the kind of insights we
have of what is important in reactor protection system reliability. To
say we could estimate a 6 times 10 to the minus 6 failure on demand for
the GE system with a straight face now --
MR. BARANOWSKY: I would have laughed in my own face ten
So that data system is very important.
MR. SEALE: I think the INPO people share with you a concern
for the degree of buy-in on EPIX.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Licensee performance, system performance is
the data. Models without data are zero.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I take it the consensus of the
subcommittee is to recommend to the full committee that a letter be
MR. UHRIG: Does that mean there is going to be a
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I was coming to Mr. Markley. Now we have
to schedule a presentation for the full committee. You told me earlier
that February is out of the question.
MR. MARKLEY: February is very full.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So the earliest we can do this is March,
which is filling up very quickly as well. Maybe you can make a note of
that and talk to the powers that be.
MR. BONACA: March is soon enough for me.
MR. UHRIG: When is the white paper going to be available?
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: In a few weeks. A few weeks means?
MR. BARANOWSKY: It was supposed to be ready this week, but
we got enough comments yesterday from NRR, and I think they made good
sense. The reason we want to change it is we want the highest level of
NRR management to understand and support this.
MR. SEALE: So you would be in a position to talk about the
features of the white paper in a definitive way if we had a meeting in
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You would send it by the end of January?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Our plan would be well before the end of
January, but by the end for sure.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let's plan on recommending to the Planning
and Procedures Subcommittee and then to the full committee that there be
a meeting in March of maybe an hour or an hour and a half.
MR. MARKLEY: It's up to you. Having had a full day's
subcommittee, I don't know that you need that much time.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't think we need a presentation on
everything. I think we should focus on some key elements. I think one
example ought to do it.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Just a couple of key insights.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: And the summary table you had, and maybe
adding a few comments there.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We heard the comments you made today about
what you didn't understand about it.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That table, I think, is going to be very
useful to the full committee and there will be a lot of discussion. So
these are the key things.
MR. BONACA: The things that surprised me was the number of
level 1 PRAs that you have done. I was surprised. I believe many
committee members would not know that.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's what I say. Of course the
risk-based performance indicators will have to play a major role there
because the committee is interested in that. We have a review of the
new oversight process in January, as you probably know. So we will be
up to speed by that time.
MR. BARANOWSKY: We will probably have met with NEI by then.
So we can give you some input there.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So let's propose that and see how it
works. I think a letter is important and there is some urgency to it,
because the Commission is essentially new in the sense that they have
not really been sensitized to the fact that such important work is being
done within the agency by the Office of Research.
MR. BARANOWSKY: By the way, we have to send up a paper to
the Commission after that telling them that we are discontinuing the
current version of the PIs which used to be part of the AEOD yearly
assessment of how things are going. So it might match up with what you
are talking about doing here. We have to have a recommendation as to
what we would do as a follow on.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: If you guys come to the full committee in
March, do we have a subcommittee before then? No, the subcommittee was
MR. MARKLEY: Do you need one? That is the question.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Also we talked about having the
subcommittee talk about technical issues that are arising on the
development of the risk-based PIs.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Before June.
MR. BARANOWSKY: Before June, but that is probably in the
March time frame.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: So that is independent of the March
MR. BARANOWSKY: Independent of the March full committee.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: What about January 20th?
MR. MARKLEY: That's the oversight process. That's the NRR
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's a full day.
MR. BONACA: In February we have other stuff, like
traveling, etc. It is going to make it very hard for me.
MR. MARKLEY: I don't think we can find any more time in
January for a meeting. We are having a hard time finding days for the
ones we have got.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. MARKLEY: It's going to be tough. We have got a joint
subcommittee, and operations subcommittee. We have got the retreat.
MR. SEALE: Are you going to be here tomorrow?
MR. BARANOWSKY: Yes.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: You mean the tech spec discussion?
MR. BARANOWSKY: No. That's NRR's.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Anything else?
MR. SEALE: Thank you, guys.
MR. APOSTOLAKIS: Thank you very much. This meeting is
[Whereupon at 4:00 p.m. the meeting was recessed, to
reconvene at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, December 16, 1999.]
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