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Technical Needs for Enhancing Risk Monitors with Equipment Condition Assessment for Advanced Small Modular Reactors

Description: Advanced small modular reactors (aSMRs) can provide the United States with a safe, sustainable, and carbon-neutral energy source. The controllable day-to-day costs of aSMRs are expected to be dominated by operation and maintenance costs. Health and condition assessment coupled with online risk monitors can potentially enhance affordability of aSMRs through optimized operational planning and maintenance scheduling. Currently deployed risk monitors are an extension of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). For complex engineered systems like nuclear power plants, PRA systematically combines event likelihoods and the probability of failure (POF) of key components, so that when combined with the magnitude of possible adverse consequences to determine risk. Traditional PRA uses population-based POF information to estimate the average plant risk over time. Currently, most nuclear power plants have a PRA that reflects the as-operated, as-modified plant; this model is updated periodically, typically once a year. Risk monitors expand on living PRA by incorporating changes in the day-by-day plant operation and configuration (e.g., changes in equipment availability, operating regime, environmental conditions). However, population-based POF (or population- and time-based POF) is still used to populate fault trees. Health monitoring techniques can be used to establish condition indicators and monitoring capabilities that indicate the component-specific POF at a desired point in time (or over a desired period), which can then be incorporated in the risk monitor to provide a more accurate estimate of the plant risk in different configurations. This is particularly important for active systems, structures, and components (SSCs) proposed for use in aSMR designs. These SSCs may differ significantly from those used in the operating fleet of light-water reactors (or even in LWR-based SMR designs). Additionally, the operating characteristics of aSMRs can present significantly different requirements, including the need to operate in different coolant environments, higher operating temperatures, and longer operating cycles between planned refueling ...
Date: April 4, 2013
Creator: Coble, Jamie B.; Coles, Garill A.; Ramuhalli, Pradeep; Meyer, Ryan M.; Berglin, Eric J.; Wootan, David W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technical Report on Preliminary Methodology for Enhancing Risk Monitors with Integrated Equipment Condition Assessment

Description: Small modular reactors (SMRs) generally include reactors with electric output of ~350 MWe or less (this cutoff varies somewhat but is substantially less than full-size plant output of 700 MWe or more). Advanced SMRs (AdvSMRs) refer to a specific class of SMRs and are based on modularization of advanced reactor concepts. AdvSMRs may provide a longer-term alternative to traditional light-water reactors (LWRs) and SMRs based on integral pressurized water reactor concepts currently being considered. Enhancing affordability of AdvSMRs will be critical to ensuring wider deployment. AdvSMRs suffer from loss of economies of scale inherent in small reactors when compared to large (~greater than 600 MWe output) reactors. Some of this loss can be recovered through reduced capital costs through smaller size, fewer components, modular fabrication processes, and the opportunity for modular construction. However, the controllable day-to-day costs of AdvSMRs will be dominated by operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Technologies that help characterize real-time risk are important for controlling O&M costs. Risk monitors are used in current nuclear power plants to provide a point-in-time estimate of the system risk given the current plant configuration (e.g., equipment availability, operational regime, and environmental conditions). However, current risk monitors are unable to support the capability requirements listed above as they do not take into account plant-specific normal, abnormal, and deteriorating states of active components and systems. This report documents technology developments that are a step towards enhancing risk monitors that, if integrated with supervisory plant control systems, can provide the capability requirements listed and meet the goals of controlling O&M costs. The report describes research results from an initial methodology for enhanced risk monitors by integrating real-time information about equipment condition and POF into risk monitors.
Date: September 17, 2013
Creator: Ramuhalli, Pradeep; Coles, Garill A.; Coble, Jamie B. & Hirt, Evelyn H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department