Seismic Failure and Cask Drop Analyses of the Spent Fuel Pools at Two Representative Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG/CR-5176)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: June 1988
Date Published: January 1989

Prepared by:
P. G. Prassinos, C. Y. Kimura, D. B. McCallen, R. C. Murray/LLNL
M. K. Ravindra, R. D. Campbell, P. S. Hashimoto, A. M. Nafday, W. H. Tong/EQE

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue
Livermore, CA 94550

EQE Engineering, Inc.
3150 Bristol, Suite 350
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Prepared for:
Division of Safety Issue Resolution
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555


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This report discusses work done in support of the resolution of Generic Issue-82, "Beyond Design Basis Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools". Specifically the probability of spent fuel pool failure due to earthquakes was determined for the pools at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (BWR) and the H. B. Robinson S.E. Plant, Unit 2 (PWR). The dominant failure mode for each pool was gross structural failure caused by seismic motion resulting in the loss of pool liner integrity. The resulting sudden loss of water was then assumed to lead to a self-propagating cladding failure and fission product inventory release from the spent fuel elements in the pool. The mean annual frequency of failure due to this failure mode was found to be 6.7E-06 at Vermont Yankee and 1.8E-06 at H. B. Robinson. Other earthquake induced failure modes studied but found to be less important were loss of pool cooling and make-up capability, fuel rack damage and loss of liner integrity due to a cask drop accident.

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