Some new nuclear power plants have advanced light-water reactor (ALWR) designs with passive safety systems that rely on natural forces, such as density differences, gravity, and stored energy, to supply safety-injection water and to provide reactor-core and containment cooling. Active systems in such passive ALWR designs are categorized as nonsafety systems with limited exceptions. Active systems in passive ALWR designs provide the first line of defense to reduce challenges to the passive systems in the event of a transient at the nuclear power plant. Active systems that provide a defense-in-depth function in passive ALWR designs need not meet all of the acceptance criteria for safety-related systems. However, there should be a high level of confidence that these active systems will be available and reliable when challenged. Multiple activities will provide confidence in the capability of these active systems to perform their defense-in-depth functions; these are collectively referred to as the Regulatory Treatment of Nonsafety Systems (RTNSS) program. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) addresses policy and technical issues associated with RTNSS equipment in passive ALWRs in several documents. This paper discusses the NRC staff’s review of pumps, valves, and dynamic restraints within the scope of the RTNSS program in passive ALWRs.
Paper published with permission.