An extended loss of all electric power occurred at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant by a large earthquake and subsequent tsunami. This event led to a loss of reactor core cooling and containment integrity functions at several units of the site, ultimately resulting in large release of radioactive materials into the environment. In order to cope with beyond-design-basis external events (BDBEEs), this study proposes the iROCS (integrated, RObust Coping Strategies) approach. The iROCS approach is characterized by classification of various plant damage conditions (PDCs) that might be impacted by BDBEEs and corresponding integrated coping strategies for each of PDCs, aiming to maintain and restore core cooling (i.e., to prevent core damage) and to maintain the integrity of the reactor pressure vessel if it is judged that core damage may not be preventable in view of plant conditions. The plant damage conditions considered in the iROCS approach include combinations of the following conditions of the critical safety functions: (1) an extended loss of AC power, (2) an extended loss of DC power (loss of the monitoring and control function at control rooms), (3) a loss of RCS inventory, and (4) a loss of secondary heat removal. From a case study for an extreme damage condition, it is shown that candidate accident management strategies should be evaluated from the viewpoint of effectiveness and feasibility against extreme damage conditions of the site and accident scenarios of the plant.

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