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Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)

Editor
Michael G. Stamatelatos
Michael G. Stamatelatos
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Harold S. Blackman
Harold S. Blackman
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ISBN-10:
0791802442
No. of Pages:
2576
Publisher:
ASME Press
Publication date:
2006

There is international consensus that for the various nuclear Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARCs), which are currently under development, design and operational safety goals as well as modern review frameworks for risk assessment required for licensing related decision-making shall be developed. The objective of this paper is to screen information available from different countries and international organisations on such efforts as far as they consider the use of Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) or specific probabilistic evaluations.

“Available information” means information which has been published in scientific journals and open reports or presented at topical Conferences and which is available to the authors. Clearly, this does by far not comprise the entire state-of-knowledge, however it does comprise pretty much of the information which is available to all stakeholders, especially the “general” scientific community and the general public, and which would thus form the basis of a future consensus view on the safety of ARCs.

The screening is done for many different types of ARCs (so-called Generation III, III+ and IV), including either active, passive or both types of systems. Main conclusion is that very little information is available for full probabilistic assessments, only recently some activities started on partial probabilistic evaluations, such as on the reliability of certain types of passive systems.

In general, compared to the large number of ongoing design engineering activities on ARCs, the PSA type of work seems to be sparse. Therefore, published statements on significantly lower risk levels achieved by certain ARCs are at least not verifiable. Specifically for Generation IV ARCs, it is suggested to establish a specific international information exchange platform for ongoing probabilistic safety evaluations. It seems inappropriate and in the long run quite expensive to postpone development of PSA approaches for ARCs and to concentrate resources on the parts of nuclear physics and evaluation of physical processes. This could well end up in - initially - wishful thinking that “the risk issue” disappears by itself or - at later stages - in expensive re-design, ultimately resulting in complete loss of trust in the nuclear industry.

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