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Title: Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program: Reactor Safety Technologies Pathway Technical Program Plan

Abstract

In the aftermath of the March 2011 multi-unit accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Fukushima), the nuclear community has been reassessing certain safety assumptions about nuclear reactor plant design, operations and emergency actions, particularly with respect to extreme events that might occur and that are beyond each plant’s current design basis. Because of our significant domestic investment in nuclear reactor technology (99 operating reactors in the fleet of commercial LWRs with five under construction), the United States has been a major leader internationally in these activities. The U.S. nuclear industry is voluntarily pursuing a number of additional safety initiatives. The NRC continues to evaluate and, where deemed appropriate, establish new requirements for ensuring adequate protection of public health and safety in the occurrence of low probability events at nuclear plants; (e.g., mitigation strategies for beyond design basis events initiated by external events like seismic or flooding initiators). The DOE has also played a major role in the U.S. response to the Fukushima accident. Initially, DOE worked with the Japanese and the international community to help develop a more complete understanding of the Fukushima accident progression and its consequences, and to respond to various safety concerns emerging from uncertaintiesmore » about the nature of and the effects from the accident. DOE R&D activities are focused on providing scientific and technical insights, data, analyses methods that ultimately support industry efforts to enhance safety. These activities are expected to further enhance the safety performance of currently operating U.S. nuclear power plants as well as better characterize the safety performance of future U.S. plants. In pursuing this area of R&D, DOE recognizes that the commercial nuclear industry is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of licensed nuclear facilities. As such, industry is considered the primary “end user” of the results from this DOE-sponsored work. The response to the Fukushima accident has been global, and there is a continuing multinational interest in collaborations to better quantify accident consequences and to incorporate lessons learned from the accident. DOE will continue to seek opportunities to facilitate collaborations that are of value to the U.S. industry, particularly where the collaboration provides access to vital data from the accident or otherwise supports or leverages other important R&D work. The purpose of the Reactor Safety Technology R&D is to improve understanding of beyond design basis events and reduce uncertainty in severe accident progression, phenomenology, and outcomes using existing analytical codes and information gleaned from severe accidents, in particular the Fukushima Daiichi events. This information will be used to aid in developing mitigating strategies and improving severe accident management guidelines for the current light water reactor fleet.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1245511
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-15-35976
TRN: US1601189
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; REACTOR SAFETY; WATER MODERATED REACTORS; NUCLEAR INDUSTRY; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; WATER COOLED REACTORS; DESIGN; DATA ANALYSIS; ACCIDENT MANAGEMENT; PERFORMANCE; SUSTAINABILITY; US DOE; FLOODS; EARTHQUAKES; MITIGATION; INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION; PLANNING; Pathway Plan; Reactor; Safety; Technology

Citation Formats

Corradini, M. L.. Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program: Reactor Safety Technologies Pathway Technical Program Plan. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1245511.
Corradini, M. L.. Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program: Reactor Safety Technologies Pathway Technical Program Plan. United States. doi:10.2172/1245511.
Corradini, M. L.. Mon . "Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program: Reactor Safety Technologies Pathway Technical Program Plan". United States. doi:10.2172/1245511. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1245511.
@article{osti_1245511,
title = {Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program: Reactor Safety Technologies Pathway Technical Program Plan},
author = {Corradini, M. L.},
abstractNote = {In the aftermath of the March 2011 multi-unit accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Fukushima), the nuclear community has been reassessing certain safety assumptions about nuclear reactor plant design, operations and emergency actions, particularly with respect to extreme events that might occur and that are beyond each plant’s current design basis. Because of our significant domestic investment in nuclear reactor technology (99 operating reactors in the fleet of commercial LWRs with five under construction), the United States has been a major leader internationally in these activities. The U.S. nuclear industry is voluntarily pursuing a number of additional safety initiatives. The NRC continues to evaluate and, where deemed appropriate, establish new requirements for ensuring adequate protection of public health and safety in the occurrence of low probability events at nuclear plants; (e.g., mitigation strategies for beyond design basis events initiated by external events like seismic or flooding initiators). The DOE has also played a major role in the U.S. response to the Fukushima accident. Initially, DOE worked with the Japanese and the international community to help develop a more complete understanding of the Fukushima accident progression and its consequences, and to respond to various safety concerns emerging from uncertainties about the nature of and the effects from the accident. DOE R&D activities are focused on providing scientific and technical insights, data, analyses methods that ultimately support industry efforts to enhance safety. These activities are expected to further enhance the safety performance of currently operating U.S. nuclear power plants as well as better characterize the safety performance of future U.S. plants. In pursuing this area of R&D, DOE recognizes that the commercial nuclear industry is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of licensed nuclear facilities. As such, industry is considered the primary “end user” of the results from this DOE-sponsored work. The response to the Fukushima accident has been global, and there is a continuing multinational interest in collaborations to better quantify accident consequences and to incorporate lessons learned from the accident. DOE will continue to seek opportunities to facilitate collaborations that are of value to the U.S. industry, particularly where the collaboration provides access to vital data from the accident or otherwise supports or leverages other important R&D work. The purpose of the Reactor Safety Technology R&D is to improve understanding of beyond design basis events and reduce uncertainty in severe accident progression, phenomenology, and outcomes using existing analytical codes and information gleaned from severe accidents, in particular the Fukushima Daiichi events. This information will be used to aid in developing mitigating strategies and improving severe accident management guidelines for the current light water reactor fleet.},
doi = {10.2172/1245511},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2015},
month = {Mon Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2015}
}

Technical Report:

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  • In the aftermath of the March 2011 multi-unit accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Fukushima), the nuclear community has been reassessing certain safety assumptions about nuclear reactor plant design, operations and emergency actions, particularly with respect to extreme events that might occur and that are beyond each plant’s current design basis. Because of our significant domestic investment in nuclear reactor technology (99 operating reactors in the fleet of commercial LWRs with five under construction), the United States has been a major leader internationally in these activities. The U.S. nuclear industry is voluntarily pursuing a number of additional safetymore » initiatives. The NRC continues to evaluate and, where deemed appropriate, establish new requirements for ensuring adequate protection of public health and safety in the occurrence of low probability events at nuclear plants; (e.g., mitigation strategies for beyond design basis events initiated by external events like seismic or flooding initiators). The DOE has also played a major role in the U.S. response to the Fukushima accident. Initially, DOE worked with the Japanese and the international community to help develop a more complete understanding of the Fukushima accident progression and its consequences, and to respond to various safety concerns emerging from uncertainties about the nature of and the effects from the accident. DOE R&D activities are focused on providing scientific and technical insights, data, analyses methods that ultimately support industry efforts to enhance safety. These activities are expected to further enhance the safety performance of currently operating U.S. nuclear power plants as well as better characterize the safety performance of future U.S. plants. In pursuing this area of R&D, DOE recognizes that the commercial nuclear industry is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of licensed nuclear facilities. As such, industry is considered the primary “end user” of the results from this DOE-sponsored work. The response to the Fukushima accident has been global, and there is a continuing multinational interest in collaborations to better quantify accident consequences and to incorporate lessons learned from the accident. DOE will continue to seek opportunities to facilitate collaborations that are of value to the U.S. industry, particularly where the collaboration provides access to vital data from the accident or otherwise supports or leverages other important R&D work. The purpose of the Reactor Safety Technology R&D is to improve understanding of beyond design basis events and reduce uncertainty in severe accident progression, phenomenology, and outcomes using existing analytical codes and information gleaned from severe accidents, in particular the Fukushima Daiichi events. This information will be used to aid in developing mitigating strategies and improving severe accident management guidelines for the current light water reactor fleet.« less
  • Safety is central to the design, licensing, operation, and economics of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). As the current Light Water Reactor (LWR) NPPs age beyond 60 years, there are possibilities for increased frequency of Systems, Structures, and Components (SSCs) degradations or failures that initiate safety-significant events, reduce existing accident mitigation capabilities, or create new failure modes. Plant designers commonly “over-design” portions of NPPs and provide robustness in the form of redundant and diverse engineered safety features to ensure that, even in the case of well-beyond design basis scenarios, public health and safety will be protected with a very high degreemore » of assurance. This form of defense-in-depth is a reasoned response to uncertainties and is often referred to generically as “safety margin.” Historically, specific safety margin provisions have been formulated, primarily based on “engineering judgment.”« less
  • The Risk-Informed Safety Margin Characterization (RISMC) pathway is a set of activities defined under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program. The overarching objective of RISMC is to support plant life-extension decision-making by providing a state-of-knowledge characterization of safety margins in key systems, structures, and components (SSCs). A technical challenge at the core of this effort is to establish the conceptual and technical feasibility of analyzing safety margin in a risk-informed way, which, unlike conventionally defined deterministic margin analysis, would be founded on probabilistic characterizations of uncertainty in SSC performance. In the context of probabilistic riskmore » assessment (PRA) technology, there has arisen a general consensus about the distinctive roles of two types of uncertainty: aleatory and epistemic, where the former represents irreducible, random variability inherent in a system, whereas the latter represents a state of knowledge uncertainty on the part of the analyst about the system which is, in principle, reducible through further research. While there is often some ambiguity about how any one contributing uncertainty in an analysis should be classified, there has nevertheless emerged a broad consensus on the meanings of these uncertainty types in the PRA setting. However, while RISMC methodology shares some features with conventional PRA, it will nevertheless be a distinctive methodology set. Therefore, the paradigms for classification of uncertainty in the PRA setting may not fully port to the RISMC environment. Yet the notion of risk-informed margin is based on the characterization of uncertainty, and it is therefore critical to establish a common understanding of uncertainty in the RISMC setting.« less
  • Reliable instrumentation, information, and control (II&C) systems technologies are essential to ensuring safe and efficient operation of the U.S. light water reactor (LWR) fleet. These technologies affect every aspect of nuclear power plant (NPP) and balance-of-plant operations. In 1997, the National Research Council conducted a study concerning the challenges involved in modernization of digital instrumentation and control systems in NPPs. Their findings identified the need for new II&C technology integration.
  • Reliable instrumentation, information, and control (II&C) systems technologies are essential to ensuring safe and efficient operation of the U.S. light water reactor (LWR) fleet. These technologies affect every aspect of nuclear power plant (NPP) and balance-of-plant operations. In 1997, the National Research Council conducted a study concerning the challenges involved in modernization of digital instrumentation and control systems in NPPs. Their findings identified the need for new II&C technology integration.