In late 2008, a Hydrogen in Piping and Ancillary Vessels (HPAV) Assessment Team was chartered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of River Protection (DOE-ORP) to investigate the extent of operational complexity in the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) due to conservatisms in hydrogen event analysis methodology and related design constraints. The HPAV Assessment Team recommended that a Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) be performed to analyze normal plant operating and upset conditions that can lead to accumulation of hydrogen in piping, and determine the frequency and severity of ensuing postulated hydrogen events such that WTP can make risk-informed decisions regarding hydrogen event mitigation strategies and improve operational flexibility.

The QRA application is based on an in-depth review of hydrogen event-affected systems conducted by an interdisciplinary team of system engineers, process engineers, plant operations modelers, operators, and safety personnel to ensure facility ownership of the overall process. The QRA evaluates hydrogen event-affected systems for both normal system operations and possible upset conditions as a result of internal and external events (including human error). The Operational Frequency Analysis (OFA) and Event Progression Logic (EPL) analysis provide an integrated framework for the analysis of initiating events from which hydrogen accumulation can occur and the quantitative analysis of the physical progression of ensuing hydrogen ignition events. The purpose of this paper is to describe the QRA methodology, models, and testing used to quantify the system demand resulting from postulated hydrogen event types, frequencies, and severities, with emphasis on the latter stages of the QRA, overall execution and application.

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