Description: There is a nearly ubiquitous assumption in PSA that parameter values are at least piecewise-constant in time. As a result, Bayesian inference tends to incorporate many years of plant operation, over which there have been significant changes in plant operational and maintenance practices, plant management, etc. These changes can cause significant changes in parameter values over time; however, failure to perform Bayesian inference in the proper time-dependent framework can mask these changes. Failure to question the assumption of constant parameter values, and failure to perform Bayesian inference in the proper time-dependent framework were noted as important issues in NUREG/CR-6813, performed for the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards in 2003. That report noted that “in-dustry lacks tools to perform time-trend analysis with Bayesian updating.” This paper describes an applica-tion of time-dependent Bayesian inference methods developed for the European Commission Ageing PSA Network. These methods utilize open-source software, implementing Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling. The paper also illustrates an approach to incorporating multiple sources of data via applicability weighting factors that address differences in key influences, such as vendor, component boundaries, conditions of the operating environment, etc.
Date: September 1, 2010
Creator: Kelly, D. L. & Malkhasyan, A.
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