Nearly half of the U.S. nuclear power plants (NPPs) are in the process of transitioning, or have already transitioned, to a risk-informed, performance-based fire protection program. For this transition, Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment (Fire PRA) is used as a foundation for fire risk evaluation. To increase realism in Fire PRA by reducing conservative bias, the authors have developed an Integrated Probabilistic Risk Assessment (I-PRA) methodological framework that does not require major changes to the existing plant Probabilistic Risk Assessments (PRAs). The underlying failure mechanism models associated with fire events are developed in a separate module, which can be interfaced and connected to the existing plant PRA. This paper explains the areas of methodological advancements in I-PRA, comparing them with the existing Fire PRA of NPPs. This comparison is further demonstrated in a realistic case study that applies the I-PRA framework to a critical fire-induced scenario at an NPP. The core damage frequency (CDF) for the selected scenario, computed by the I-PRA framework, is compared with the results of the Full Compartment Burn screening method and the existing Fire PRA methodology. Using the I-PRA framework, the CDF for the selected scenario has decreased by a factor of 20 compared with the Full Compartment Burn screening approach and by a factor of 2 compared to the existing Fire PRA methodology based on NUREG/CR-6850 and the subsequent NUREGs that have updated the data and methods for individual steps.
- Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment
- Integrated Probabilistic Risk Assessment framework
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics