skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Incorporating Equipment Condition Assessment in Risk Monitors for Advanced Small Modular Reactors

Abstract

Advanced small modular reactors (aSMRs) can complement the current fleet of large light-water reactors in the USA for baseload and peak demand power production and process heat applications (e.g., water desalination, shale oil extraction, hydrogen production). The day-to-day costs of aSMRs are expected to be dominated by operations and maintenance (O&M); however, the effect of diverse operating missions and unit modularity on O&M is not fully understood. These costs could potentially be reduced by optimized scheduling, with risk-informed scheduling of maintenance, repair, and replacement of equipment. Currently, most nuclear power plants have a “living” probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), which reflects the as-operated, as-modified plant and combine event probabilities with population-based probability of failure (POF) for key components. “Risk monitors” extend the PRA by incorporating the actual and dynamic plant configuration (equipment availability, operating regime, environmental conditions, etc.) into risk assessment. In fact, PRAs are more integrated into plant management in today’s nuclear power plants than at any other time in the history of nuclear power. However, population-based POF curves are still used to populate fault trees; this approach neglects the time-varying condition of equipment that is relied on during standard and non-standard configurations. Equipment condition monitoring techniques can be usedmore » to estimate the component POF. Incorporating this unit-specific estimate of POF in the risk monitor can provide a more accurate estimate of risk in different operating and maintenance configurations. This enhanced risk assessment will be especially important for aSMRs that have advanced component designs, which don’t have an available operating history to draw from, and often use passive design features, which present challenges to PRA. This paper presents the requirements and technical gaps for developing a framework to integrate unit-specific estimates of POF into risk monitors, resulting in enhanced risk monitors that support optimized operation and maintenance of aSMRs.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1110466
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-93199
RC0113000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Chemical Engineering Transactions, 33:913-918
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Risk Monitors; Equipment Condition Assessment; Advanced Small Modular Reactors

Citation Formats

Coble, Jamie B., Coles, Garill A., Meyer, Ryan M., and Ramuhalli, Pradeep. Incorporating Equipment Condition Assessment in Risk Monitors for Advanced Small Modular Reactors. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.3303/CET1333153.
Coble, Jamie B., Coles, Garill A., Meyer, Ryan M., & Ramuhalli, Pradeep. Incorporating Equipment Condition Assessment in Risk Monitors for Advanced Small Modular Reactors. United States. doi:10.3303/CET1333153.
Coble, Jamie B., Coles, Garill A., Meyer, Ryan M., and Ramuhalli, Pradeep. 2013. "Incorporating Equipment Condition Assessment in Risk Monitors for Advanced Small Modular Reactors". United States. doi:10.3303/CET1333153.
@article{osti_1110466,
title = {Incorporating Equipment Condition Assessment in Risk Monitors for Advanced Small Modular Reactors},
author = {Coble, Jamie B. and Coles, Garill A. and Meyer, Ryan M. and Ramuhalli, Pradeep},
abstractNote = {Advanced small modular reactors (aSMRs) can complement the current fleet of large light-water reactors in the USA for baseload and peak demand power production and process heat applications (e.g., water desalination, shale oil extraction, hydrogen production). The day-to-day costs of aSMRs are expected to be dominated by operations and maintenance (O&M); however, the effect of diverse operating missions and unit modularity on O&M is not fully understood. These costs could potentially be reduced by optimized scheduling, with risk-informed scheduling of maintenance, repair, and replacement of equipment. Currently, most nuclear power plants have a “living” probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), which reflects the as-operated, as-modified plant and combine event probabilities with population-based probability of failure (POF) for key components. “Risk monitors” extend the PRA by incorporating the actual and dynamic plant configuration (equipment availability, operating regime, environmental conditions, etc.) into risk assessment. In fact, PRAs are more integrated into plant management in today’s nuclear power plants than at any other time in the history of nuclear power. However, population-based POF curves are still used to populate fault trees; this approach neglects the time-varying condition of equipment that is relied on during standard and non-standard configurations. Equipment condition monitoring techniques can be used to estimate the component POF. Incorporating this unit-specific estimate of POF in the risk monitor can provide a more accurate estimate of risk in different operating and maintenance configurations. This enhanced risk assessment will be especially important for aSMRs that have advanced component designs, which don’t have an available operating history to draw from, and often use passive design features, which present challenges to PRA. This paper presents the requirements and technical gaps for developing a framework to integrate unit-specific estimates of POF into risk monitors, resulting in enhanced risk monitors that support optimized operation and maintenance of aSMRs.},
doi = {10.3303/CET1333153},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month =
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • Advanced small modular reactors (aSMRs) can provide the United States with a safe, sustainable, and carbon-neutral energy source. The controllable day-to-day costs of aSMRs are expected to be dominated by operation and maintenance costs. Health and condition assessment coupled with online risk monitors can potentially enhance affordability of aSMRs through optimized operational planning and maintenance scheduling. Currently deployed risk monitors are an extension of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). For complex engineered systems like nuclear power plants, PRA systematically combines event likelihoods and the probability of failure (POF) of key components, so that when combined with the magnitude of possible adversemore » consequences to determine risk. Traditional PRA uses population-based POF information to estimate the average plant risk over time. Currently, most nuclear power plants have a PRA that reflects the as-operated, as-modified plant; this model is updated periodically, typically once a year. Risk monitors expand on living PRA by incorporating changes in the day-by-day plant operation and configuration (e.g., changes in equipment availability, operating regime, environmental conditions). However, population-based POF (or population- and time-based POF) is still used to populate fault trees. Health monitoring techniques can be used to establish condition indicators and monitoring capabilities that indicate the component-specific POF at a desired point in time (or over a desired period), which can then be incorporated in the risk monitor to provide a more accurate estimate of the plant risk in different configurations. This is particularly important for active systems, structures, and components (SSCs) proposed for use in aSMR designs. These SSCs may differ significantly from those used in the operating fleet of light-water reactors (or even in LWR-based SMR designs). Additionally, the operating characteristics of aSMRs can present significantly different requirements, including the need to operate in different coolant environments, higher operating temperatures, and longer operating cycles between planned refueling and maintenance outages. These features, along with the relative lack of operating experience for some of the proposed advanced designs, may limit the ability to estimate event probability and component POF with a high degree of certainty. Incorporating real-time estimates of component POF may compensate for a relative lack of established knowledge about the long-term component behavior and improve operational and maintenance planning and optimization. The particular eccentricities of advanced reactors and small modular reactors provide unique challenges and needs for advanced instrumentation, control, and human-machine interface (ICHMI) techniques such as enhanced risk monitors (ERM) in aSMRs. Several features of aSMR designs increase the need for accurate characterization of the real-time risk during operation and maintenance activities. A number of technical gaps in realizing ERM exist, and these gaps are largely independent of the specific reactor technology. As a result, the development of a framework for ERM would enable greater situational awareness regardless of the specific class of reactor technology. A set of research tasks are identified in a preliminary research plan to enable the development, testing, and demonstration of such a framework. Although some aspects of aSMRs, such as specific operational characteristics, will vary and are not now completely defined, the proposed framework is expected to be relevant regardless of such uncertainty. The development of an ERM framework will provide one of the key technical developments necessary to ensure the economic viability of aSMRs.« less
  • Advanced small modular reactors (AdvSMRs) can contribute to safe, sustainable, and carbon-neutral energy production. However, the economics of AdvSMRs suffer from the loss of economy-of-scale for both construction and operation. The controllable day-to-day costs of AdvSMRs are expected to be dominated by operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. These expenses could potentially be managed through optimized scheduling of O&M activities for components, reactor modules, power blocks, and the full plant. Accurate, real-time risk assessment with integrated health monitoring of key active components can support scheduling of both online and offline inspection and maintenance activities.
  • Small modular reactors (SMRs) generally include reactors with electric output of ~350 MWe or less (this cutoff varies somewhat but is substantially less than full-size plant output of 700 MWe or more). Advanced SMRs (AdvSMRs) refer to a specific class of SMRs and are based on modularization of advanced reactor concepts. AdvSMRs may provide a longer-term alternative to traditional light-water reactors (LWRs) and SMRs based on integral pressurized water reactor concepts currently being considered. Enhancing affordability of AdvSMRs will be critical to ensuring wider deployment. AdvSMRs suffer from loss of economies of scale inherent in small reactors when compared tomore » large (~greater than 600 MWe output) reactors. Some of this loss can be recovered through reduced capital costs through smaller size, fewer components, modular fabrication processes, and the opportunity for modular construction. However, the controllable day-to-day costs of AdvSMRs will be dominated by operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Technologies that help characterize real-time risk are important for controlling O&M costs. Risk monitors are used in current nuclear power plants to provide a point-in-time estimate of the system risk given the current plant configuration (e.g., equipment availability, operational regime, and environmental conditions). However, current risk monitors are unable to support the capability requirements listed above as they do not take into account plant-specific normal, abnormal, and deteriorating states of active components and systems. This report documents technology developments that are a step towards enhancing risk monitors that, if integrated with supervisory plant control systems, can provide the capability requirements listed and meet the goals of controlling O&M costs. The report describes research results from an initial methodology for enhanced risk monitors by integrating real-time information about equipment condition and POF into risk monitors.« less
  • Small modular reactors (SMRs) generally include reactors with electric output of ~350 MWe or less (this cutoff varies somewhat but is substantially less than full-size plant output of 700 MWe or more). Advanced SMRs (AdvSMRs) refer to a specific class of SMRs and are based on modularization of advanced reactor concepts. Enhancing affordability of AdvSMRs will be critical to ensuring wider deployment, as AdvSMRs suffer from loss of economies of scale inherent in small reactors when compared to large (~greater than 600 MWe output) reactors and the controllable day-to-day costs of AdvSMRs will be dominated by operation and maintenance (O&M)more » costs. Technologies that help characterize real-time risk are important for controlling O&M costs. Risk monitors are used in current nuclear power plants to provide a point-in-time estimate of the system risk given the current plant configuration (e.g., equipment availability, operational regime, and environmental conditions). However, current risk monitors are unable to support the capability requirements listed above as they do not take into account plant-specific normal, abnormal, and deteriorating states of active components and systems. This report documents technology developments towards enhancing risk monitors that, if integrated with supervisory plant control systems, can provide the capability requirements listed and meet the goals of controlling O&M costs. The report describes research results on augmenting an initial methodology for enhanced risk monitors that integrate real-time information about equipment condition and POF into risk monitors. Methods to propagate uncertainty through the enhanced risk monitor are evaluated. Available data to quantify the level of uncertainty and the POF of key components are examined for their relevance, and a status update of this data evaluation is described. Finally, we describe potential targets for developing new risk metrics that may be useful for studying trade-offs for economic operation while maintaining adequate safety margins.« less
  • This study provides an overview of the methodology for integrating time-dependent failure probabilities into nuclear power reactor risk monitors. This prototypic enhanced risk monitor (ERM) methodology was evaluated using a hypothetical probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) model, generated using a simplified design of a liquid-metal-cooled advanced reactor (AR). Component failure data from industry compilation of failures of components similar to those in the simplified AR model were used to initialize the PRA model. Core damage frequency (CDF) over time were computed and analyzed. In addition, a study on alternative risk metrics for ARs was conducted. Risk metrics that quantify the normalizedmore » cost of repairs, replacements, or other operations and management (O&M) actions were defined and used, along with an economic model, to compute the likely economic risk of future actions such as deferred maintenance based on the anticipated change in CDF due to current component condition and future anticipated degradation. Such integration of conventional-risk metrics with alternate-risk metrics provides a convenient mechanism for assessing the impact of O&M decisions on safety and economics of the plant. It is expected that, when integrated with supervisory control algorithms, such integrated-risk monitors will provide a mechanism for real-time control decision-making that ensure safety margins are maintained while operating the plant in an economically viable manner.« less