Reevaluation of Station Blackout Risk at Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG/CR-6890)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 2005
Published: December 2005

Prepared by:
S.A. Eide, C.D. Gentillon, T.E. Wierman, INL
D.M. Rasmuson, NRC

Idaho National Laboratory
Risk, Reliability, and NRC Programs Department
Idaho Falls, ID 83415

Anne-Marie Grady, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Risk Analysis and Applications
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code Y6546

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This report is an update of previous reports analyzing loss of offsite power (LOOP) events and the associated station blackout (SBO) core damage risk at U.S. commercial nuclear power plants. LOOP data for 1986–2004 were collected and analyzed. Frequency and duration estimates for critical and shutdown operations were generated for four categories of LOOPs: plant centered, switchyard centered, grid related, and weather related. Overall, LOOP frequencies during critical operation have decreased significantly in recent years, while LOOP durations have increased. Various additional topics of interest are also addressed, including comparisons with results from other studies, seasonal impacts on LOOP frequencies, and consequential LOOPs. Finally, additional engineering analyses of the LOOP data were performed. To obtain SBO results, updated LOOP frequencies and offsite power nonrecovery curves were input into standardized plant analysis risk (SPAR) models covering the 103 operating commercial nuclear power plants. Core damage frequency results indicating contributions from SBO and other LOOP-initiated scenarios are presented for each of the 103 plants, along with plant class and industry averages. In addition, a comprehensive review of emergency diesel generator performance was performed to obtain current estimates for the SPAR models. Overall, SPAR results indicate that core damage frequencies for LOOP and SBO are lower than previous estimates. Improvements in emergency diesel generator performance contribute to this risk reduction.

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