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Title: Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) / Emergency Core Coolant System (ECCS Evaluation of Risk-Informed Margins Management Strategies for a Representative Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)

Abstract

A Risk Informed Safety Margin Characterization (RISMC) toolkit and methodology are proposed for investigating nuclear power plant core, fuels design and safety analysis, including postulated Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) analysis. This toolkit, under an integrated evaluation model framework, is name LOCA toolkit for the US (LOTUS). This demonstration includes coupled analysis of core design, fuel design, thermal hydraulics and systems analysis, using advanced risk analysis tools and methods to investigate a wide range of results.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (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:
1378878
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-16-39805
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 42 ENGINEERING; LOSS OF COOLANT; PWR TYPE REACTORS; SAFETY ANALYSIS; SAFETY MARGINS; ECCS; COOLING SYSTEMS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; 31274, LWRS, RISMC, MILESTONE

Citation Formats

Szilard, Ronaldo Henriques. Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) / Emergency Core Coolant System (ECCS Evaluation of Risk-Informed Margins Management Strategies for a Representative Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1378878.
Szilard, Ronaldo Henriques. Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) / Emergency Core Coolant System (ECCS Evaluation of Risk-Informed Margins Management Strategies for a Representative Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). United States. doi:10.2172/1378878.
Szilard, Ronaldo Henriques. 2016. "Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) / Emergency Core Coolant System (ECCS Evaluation of Risk-Informed Margins Management Strategies for a Representative Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)". United States. doi:10.2172/1378878. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1378878.
@article{osti_1378878,
title = {Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) / Emergency Core Coolant System (ECCS Evaluation of Risk-Informed Margins Management Strategies for a Representative Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)},
author = {Szilard, Ronaldo Henriques},
abstractNote = {A Risk Informed Safety Margin Characterization (RISMC) toolkit and methodology are proposed for investigating nuclear power plant core, fuels design and safety analysis, including postulated Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) analysis. This toolkit, under an integrated evaluation model framework, is name LOCA toolkit for the US (LOTUS). This demonstration includes coupled analysis of core design, fuel design, thermal hydraulics and systems analysis, using advanced risk analysis tools and methods to investigate a wide range of results.},
doi = {10.2172/1378878},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • In the United States, Emergency Core Cooling Systems (ECCS) are required for light water reactors (LWRs) to provide cooling of the reactor core in the event of a break or leak in the reactor piping or an inadvertent opening of a valve. These accidents are called loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCA), and they range from small leaks up to a postulated full break of the largest pipe in the reactor cooling system. Federal government regulations provide that LOCA analysis be performed to show that the ECCS will maintain fuel rod cladding temperatures, cladding oxidation, and hydrogen production within certain limits. The NRCmore » and others have completed a large body of research which investigated fuel rod behavior and LOCA/ECCS performance. It is now possible to make a realistic estimate of the ECCS performance during a LOCA and to quantify the uncertainty of this calculation. The purpose of this report is to summarize this research and to serve as a general reference for the extensive research effort that has been performed. The report: (1) summarizes the understanding of LOCA phenomena in 1974; (2) reviews experimental and analytical programs developed to address the phenomena; (3) describes the best-estimate computer codes developed by the NRC; (4) discusses the salient technical aspects of the physical phenomena and our current understanding of them; (5) discusses probabilistic risk assessment results and perspectives, and (6) evaluates the impact of research results on the ECCS regulations. 736 refs., 412 figs., 66 tabs.« less
  • The Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) is a Safeguards System designed to cool the core in the unlikely event of a Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) in the primary reactor coolant system as well as to provide additional shutdown capability following a steam break accident. The system is designed for a high reliability of providing emergency coolant and shutdown reactivity to the core for all anticipated occurrences of such accidents. The ECCS by performing its intended function assures that fuel and clad damage is minimized during accident conditions thus reducing release of fission products from the fuel. The ECCS is designed tomore » perform its function despite sustaining a single failure by the judicious use of equipment and flow path redundancy within and outside the containment structure. By the use of an analytic tool, a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), it is shown that the ECCS is in compliance with the Single Failure Criterion established for active failures of fluid systems during short and long term cooling of the reactor core following a LOCA or steam break accident. An analysis was also performed with regards to passive failure of ECCS components during long-term cooling of the core following an accident. The design of the ECCS was verified as being able to tolerate a single passive failure during long-term cooling of the reactor core following an accident. The FMEA conducted qualitatively demonstrates the reliability of the ECCS (concerning active components) to perform its intended safety function.« less
  • A review has been completed of the RELAP5YA computer code to determine its acceptability for performing licensing analyses. The review was limited to Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) reactor applications. In addition, a Loss-Of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) licensing analysis method, using the RELAP5YA computer code, has been reviewed. This method is applicable to the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station to perform full break spectra LOCA and fuel cycle independent analyses. The review of the RELAP5YA code consisted of an evaluation of all Yankee Atomic Electric Company (YAEC) incorporated modifications to the RELAP5/MOD1 Cycle 18 computer code from which the licensing version ofmore » the code originated. Qualifying separate and integral effects assessment calculations were reviewed to evaluate the validity and proper implementation of the various added models. The LOCA licensing method was assessed by reviewing two RELAP5YA system input models and evaluating several small and large break qualifying transient calculations. A review of the RELAP5YA code modifications and their assessments, as well as the submitted LOCA licensing method, is given and the results of the review are provided.« less
  • The availability of the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) as a long-term safety backup system following a small loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) has been analyzed for the Pickering NGS Unit A, a Canada deuterium uranium (CANDU) type of pressurized heavy-water reactor (PHWR). Fault tree analysis methodology was used to assess the unavailability of the ECCS. The PREP and KITT computer codes were used to estimate the failure probabilities. From these computations, the unavailability of the ECCS to supply sufficient coolant to the core is estimated as 3.63 X 10/sup -3/. This figure is higher than the failure probability target 3 Xmore » 10/sup -3/ that is specified by the Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board for the safety systems of CANDU PHWRs. It has been found that human error might make a very important contribution to ECCS unavailability, especially if the human error rates have been assigned the upper bound values in the fault tree calculations. That should be the case, therefore, for any fault analysis and reliability assessment of nuclear generating stations. Unlike the case for light water reactors, the ECCS in a CANDU PHWR is not the last defense against the LOCA, because of the availability of quite a large amount of D/sub 2/O moderator in the calandria around the pressure tubes.« less
  • The U. S. NRC is currently proposing rulemaking designated as “10 CFR 50.46c” to revise the LOCA/ECCS acceptance criteria to include the effects of higher burnup on cladding performance as well as to address some other issues. The NRC is also currently resolving the public comments with the final rule expected to be issued in the summer of 2016. The impact of the final 50.46c rule on the industry will involve updating of fuel vendor LOCA evaluation models, NRC review and approval, and licensee submittal of new LOCA evaluations or reanalyses and associated technical specification revisions for NRC review andmore » approval. The rule implementation process, both industry and NRC activities, is expected to take 5-10 years following the rule effective date. The need to use advanced cladding designs is expected. A loss of operational margin will result due to the more restrictive cladding embrittlement criteria. Initial and future compliance with the rule may significantly increase vendor workload and licensee cost as a spectrum of fuel rod initial burnup states may need to be analyzed to demonstrate compliance. Consequently there will be an increased focus on licensee decision making related to LOCA analysis to minimize cost and impact, and to manage margin.« less