United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Verification and Validation of Selected Fire Models for Nuclear Power Plant Applications – Final Report (NUREG-1824, Supplement 1)

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Publication Information

Date Published: November 2016

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

EPRI Project Manager
A. Lindeman

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
3420 Hillview Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1338

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES)
Washington, D.C. 20555-0001

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Abstract

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

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

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

In 2007, the NRC, together with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), conducted a research project to verify and validate five fire models that have been used for NPP applications. The results of this effort were documented in a seven-volume report, NUREG-1824 (EPRI 1011999), Verification and Validation of Selected Fire Models for Nuclear Power Plant Applications.

This supplement expands on the previous V&V effort and evaluates the latest versions of the five fire models, including additional test data for validation of the models. As with the previous effort, the results are reported in the form of ranges of accuracies for the fire model predictions, and the project was performed in accordance with the guidelines that ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) set forth in ASTM E1355-12, "Standard Guide for Evaluating the Predictive Capability of Deterministic Fire Models" (2012).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, November 07, 2016