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Title: Branch-and-Bound algorithm applied to uncertainty quantification of a Boiling Water Reactor Station Blackout

Evaluation of the impacts of uncertainty and sensitivity in modeling presents a significant set of challenges in particular to high fidelity modeling. Computational costs and validation of models creates a need for cost effective decision making with regards to experiment design. Experiments designed to validate computation models can be used to reduce uncertainty in the physical model. In some cases, large uncertainty in a particular aspect of the model may or may not have a large impact on the final results. For example, modeling of a relief valve may result in large uncertainty, however, the actual effects on final peak clad temperature in a reactor transient may be small and the large uncertainty with respect to valve modeling may be considered acceptable. Additionally, the ability to determine the adequacy of a model and the validation supporting it should be considered within a risk informed framework. Low fidelity modeling with large uncertainty may be considered adequate if the uncertainty is considered acceptable with respect to risk. In other words, models that are used to evaluate the probability of failure should be evaluated more rigorously with the intent of increasing safety margin. Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) techniques have traditionally been used tomore » identify accident conditions and transients. Traditional classical event tree methods utilize analysts’ knowledge and experience to identify the important timing of events in coordination with thermal-hydraulic modeling. These methods lack the capability to evaluate complex dynamic systems. In these systems, time and energy scales associated with transient events may vary as a function of transition times and energies to arrive at a different physical state. Dynamic PRA (DPRA) methods provide a more rigorous analysis of complex dynamic systems. Unfortunately DPRA methods introduce issues associated with combinatorial explosion of states. This study presents a methodology to address combinatorial explosion using a Branch-and-Bound algorithm applied to Dynamic Event Trees (DET), which utilize LENDIT (L – Length, E – Energy, N – Number, D – Distribution, I – Information, and T – Time) as well as a set theory to describe system, state, resource, and response (S2R2) sets to create bounding functions for the DET. The optimization of the DET in identifying high probability failure branches is extended to create a Phenomenological Identification and Ranking Table (PIRT) methodology to evaluate modeling parameters important to safety of those failure branches that have a high probability of failure. The PIRT can then be used as a tool to identify and evaluate the need for experimental validation of models that have the potential to reduce risk. Finally, in order to demonstrate this methodology, a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Station Blackout (SBO) case study is presented.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Univ. of Idaho, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Univ. of Idaho, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493; PII: S002954931500299X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517; 00042246
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 295; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; INL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1432116