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Title: Enhancement of NRC station blackout requirements for nuclear power plants

Abstract

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established a Near-Term Task Force (NTTF) in response to Commission direction to conduct a systematic and methodical review of NRC processes and regulations to determine whether the agency should make additional improvements to its regulatory system and to make recommendations to the Commission for its policy direction, in light of the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The NTTF's review resulted in a set of recommendations that took a balanced approach to defense-in-depth as applied to low-likelihood, high-consequence events such as prolonged station blackout (SBO) resulting from severe natural phenomena. Part 50, Section 63, of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 'Loss of All Alternating Current Power,' currently requires that each nuclear power plant must be able to cool the reactor core and maintain containment integrity for a specified duration of an SBO. The SBO duration and mitigation strategy for each nuclear power plant is site specific and is based on the robustness of the local transmission system and the transmission system operator's capability to restore offsite power to the nuclear power plant. With regard to SBO, the NTTF recommended that the NRC strengthen SBO mitigation capability at allmore » operating and new reactors for design-basis and beyond-design-basis external events. The NTTF also recommended strengthening emergency preparedness for prolonged SBO and multi-unit events. These recommendations, taken together, are intended to clarify and strengthen US nuclear reactor safety regarding protection against and mitigation of the consequences of natural disasters and emergency preparedness during SBO. The focus of this paper is on the existing SBO requirements and NRC initiatives to strengthen SBO capability at all operating and new reactors to address prolonged SBO stemming from design-basis and beyond-design-basis external events. The NRC initiatives are intended to enhance core and spent fuel pool cooling, reactor coolant system integrity, and containment integrity. (authors)« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop: 012-H2, Washington, DC 20555 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
American Nuclear Society, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22107752
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ICAPP '12: 2012 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants, Chicago, IL (United States), 24-28 Jun 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 11 refs.; Related Information: In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants - ICAPP '12| 2799 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; ALTERNATING CURRENT; CONTAINMENT; DESIGN; EMERGENCY PLANS; NATURAL DISASTERS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; POWER REACTORS; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; REACTOR COOLING SYSTEMS; REACTOR CORES; REACTOR SAFETY; RECOMMENDATIONS; REGULATIONS; SPENT FUELS

Citation Formats

McConnell, M. W.. Enhancement of NRC station blackout requirements for nuclear power plants. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
McConnell, M. W.. Enhancement of NRC station blackout requirements for nuclear power plants. United States.
McConnell, M. W.. Sun . "Enhancement of NRC station blackout requirements for nuclear power plants". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_22107752,
title = {Enhancement of NRC station blackout requirements for nuclear power plants},
author = {McConnell, M. W.},
abstractNote = {The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established a Near-Term Task Force (NTTF) in response to Commission direction to conduct a systematic and methodical review of NRC processes and regulations to determine whether the agency should make additional improvements to its regulatory system and to make recommendations to the Commission for its policy direction, in light of the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The NTTF's review resulted in a set of recommendations that took a balanced approach to defense-in-depth as applied to low-likelihood, high-consequence events such as prolonged station blackout (SBO) resulting from severe natural phenomena. Part 50, Section 63, of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 'Loss of All Alternating Current Power,' currently requires that each nuclear power plant must be able to cool the reactor core and maintain containment integrity for a specified duration of an SBO. The SBO duration and mitigation strategy for each nuclear power plant is site specific and is based on the robustness of the local transmission system and the transmission system operator's capability to restore offsite power to the nuclear power plant. With regard to SBO, the NTTF recommended that the NRC strengthen SBO mitigation capability at all operating and new reactors for design-basis and beyond-design-basis external events. The NTTF also recommended strengthening emergency preparedness for prolonged SBO and multi-unit events. These recommendations, taken together, are intended to clarify and strengthen US nuclear reactor safety regarding protection against and mitigation of the consequences of natural disasters and emergency preparedness during SBO. The focus of this paper is on the existing SBO requirements and NRC initiatives to strengthen SBO capability at all operating and new reactors to address prolonged SBO stemming from design-basis and beyond-design-basis external events. The NRC initiatives are intended to enhance core and spent fuel pool cooling, reactor coolant system integrity, and containment integrity. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2012},
month = {Sun Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2012}
}

Conference:
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  • Recent work on station blackout is reviewed its radiological implications for a nuclear war scenario is explored. The major conclusion is that the effects of radiation from many nuclear weapon detonations in a nuclear war would swamp those from possible reactor accidents that result from station blackout.
  • Station Blackout (SBO) is defined as 'a condition wherein a nuclear power plant sustains a loss of all offsite electric power system concurrent with turbine trip and unavailability of all onsite emergency alternating current (AC) power system. Station blackout does not include the loss of available AC power to buses fed by station batteries through inverters or by alternate AC sources as defined in this section, nor does it assume a concurrent single failure or design basis accident...' in accordance with Reference 1. In this paper, the innovative features of the AP1000 plant design are described with their operation inmore » the scenario of an extended station blackout event. General operation of the passive safety systems are described as well as the unique features which allow the AP1000 plant to cope for at least 7 days during station blackout. Points of emphasis will include: - Passive safety system operation during SBO - 'Fail-safe' nature of key passive safety system valves; automatically places the valve in a conservatively safe alignment even in case of multiple failures in all power supply systems, including normal AC and battery backup - Passive Spent Fuel Pool cooling and makeup water supply during SBO - Robustness of AP1000 plant due to the location of key systems, structures and components required for Safe Shutdown - Diverse means of supplying makeup water to the Passive Containment Cooling System (PCS) and the Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) through use of an engineered, safety-related piping interface and portable equipment, as well as with permanently installed onsite ancillary equipment. (authors)« less
  • ''Station Blackout,'' which is the complete loss of alternating current (AC) electrical power in a nuclear power plant, has been designated as Unresolved Safety Issue A-44. Because many safety systems required for reactor core decay heat removal and containment heat removal depend on AC power, the consequences of a station blackout could be severe. This report documents the findings of technical studies performed as part of the program to resolve this issue. The important factors analyzed include: the fequency of loss of offsite power; the probability that emergency or onsite AC power supplies would be unavailable; the capability and reliabilitymore » of decay heat removal systems independent of AC power; and the likelihood that offsite power would be restored before systems that cannot operate for extended periods without AC power fail, thus resulting in core damage. This report also addresses effects of different designs, locations, and operational features on the estimated frequency of core damage resulting from station blackout events.« less
  • ''Station Blackout,'' which is the complete loss of alternating current (ac) electrical power in a nuclear power plant, has been designated as Unresolved Safety Issue A-44. Because many safety systems required for reactor core decay heat removal and containment heat removal depend on ac power, the consequences of a station blackout could be severe. This report documents the findings of technical studies performed as part of the program to resolve this issue. The important factors analyzed include: the frequency of loss of offsite power; the probability that emergency or onsite ac power supplies would be unavailable; the capability and reliabilitymore » of decay heat removal systems independent of ac power; and the likelihood that offsite power would be restored before systems that cannot operate for extended periods without ac power fail, thus resulting in core damage. This report also addresses effects of different designs, locations, and operational features on the estimated frequency of core damage resulting from station blackout events.« less