This paper presents the research activities performed by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for the Department of Energy (DOE) Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, Risk-Informed System Analysis (RISA) Pathway, Enhanced Resilient Plant (ERP) Systems research, using the probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) tool SAPHIRE and the deterministic best estimate tool RELAP5-3D for risk-informed analysis. The ERP research supports DOE and industry initiatives by developing Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF), the Diverse and Flexible Coping Strategy (FLEX), and passive cooling system designs to enhance existing reactors’ safety features (both active and passive) and to substantially reduce operating costs of nuclear power plants (NPPs) through risk-informed approaches to analyze the plant enhancements and their characterization.
The risk-informed analysis used SAPHIRE and RELAP5-3D to evaluate the risk impacts from near-term ATF (FeCrAl and Chromium-coated clads) on a generic Westinghouse three-loop pressurized water reactor (PWR) under the following accident scenarios: station blackout (SBO), loss of feedwater (LOFW), steam generator tube rupture (SGTR), loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCAs), locked rotor transient, turbine trip transient, anticipated transient without scram (ATWS), and main steam line break (MSLB). The RELAP5-3D simulations included the time to core damage, time to 0.5 kilograms hydrogen generation, and total hydrogen generation. The simulation results show there are modest gains of coping time (delay of time to core damage) due to efficacy of the near-term ATF designs in various accident scenarios. The risk benefits on behalf of the core damage frequency (CDF) brought by the ATF designs would be small for most of the scenarios. However, results revealing much less hydrogen being produced at the time of core damage show a clear benefit in adopting ATFs.