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Estimating Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) Frequencies Through the Elicitation Process

Estimating Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) Frequencies Through the Elicitation Process

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Published by Enformable
ABSTRACT
The NRC is establishing a risk-informed revision of the design-basis pipe break size requirements in 10
CFR 50.46, Appendix K to Part 50, and GDC 35 which requires estimates of LOCA frequencies as a
function of break size. Separate BWR and PWR piping and non-piping passive system LOCA frequency
estimates were developed as a function of effective break size and operating time through the end of the
plant license-renewal period. The estimates were based on an expert elicitation process which
consolidated operating experience and insights from probabilistic fracture mechanics studies with
knowledge of plant design, operation, and material performance. The elicitation required each member of
an expert panel to qualitatively and quantitatively assess important LOCA contributing factors and
quantify their uncertainty. The quantitative responses were combined to develop BWR and PWR total
LOCA frequency estimates for each contributing panelist. The distributions for the six LOCA size
categories and three time periods evaluated are represented by four parameters (mean, median, 5
th
and
95
th
percentiles). Finally, the individual estimates were aggregated to obtain group estimates, along with
measures of panel diversity.
There is general qualitative agreement among the panelists about important technical issues and LOCA
contributing factors, but the individual quantitative estimates are much more variable. Sensitivity studies
were conducted to examine the effects on the estimated parameters of distribution shape, correlation
structure, panelist overconfidence, panel diversity measure, and aggregation method. The group estimates
are most sensitive to the method used to aggregate the individual estimates. Geometric-mean aggregation
produces frequency estimates that approximate the medians of the panelists’ estimates and also are
generally consistent with both operating experience and prior LOCA frequency estimates, except where
increases are supported by specific material aging-related concerns. However, arithmetic-mean and
mixture-distribution aggregation are alternative methods that lead to significantly higher mean and 95
th
percentile group estimates. Because the results are sensitive to the aggregation method, a particular set of
LOCA frequency estimates is not generically recommended for all risk-informed applications.
ABSTRACT
The NRC is establishing a risk-informed revision of the design-basis pipe break size requirements in 10
CFR 50.46, Appendix K to Part 50, and GDC 35 which requires estimates of LOCA frequencies as a
function of break size. Separate BWR and PWR piping and non-piping passive system LOCA frequency
estimates were developed as a function of effective break size and operating time through the end of the
plant license-renewal period. The estimates were based on an expert elicitation process which
consolidated operating experience and insights from probabilistic fracture mechanics studies with
knowledge of plant design, operation, and material performance. The elicitation required each member of
an expert panel to qualitatively and quantitatively assess important LOCA contributing factors and
quantify their uncertainty. The quantitative responses were combined to develop BWR and PWR total
LOCA frequency estimates for each contributing panelist. The distributions for the six LOCA size
categories and three time periods evaluated are represented by four parameters (mean, median, 5
th
and
95
th
percentiles). Finally, the individual estimates were aggregated to obtain group estimates, along with
measures of panel diversity.
There is general qualitative agreement among the panelists about important technical issues and LOCA
contributing factors, but the individual quantitative estimates are much more variable. Sensitivity studies
were conducted to examine the effects on the estimated parameters of distribution shape, correlation
structure, panelist overconfidence, panel diversity measure, and aggregation method. The group estimates
are most sensitive to the method used to aggregate the individual estimates. Geometric-mean aggregation
produces frequency estimates that approximate the medians of the panelists’ estimates and also are
generally consistent with both operating experience and prior LOCA frequency estimates, except where
increases are supported by specific material aging-related concerns. However, arithmetic-mean and
mixture-distribution aggregation are alternative methods that lead to significantly higher mean and 95
th
percentile group estimates. Because the results are sensitive to the aggregation method, a particular set of
LOCA frequency estimates is not generically recommended for all risk-informed applications.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Enformable on Feb 06, 2012
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12/31/2012

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Estimating Loss-of-CoolantAccident (LOCA)Frequencies Through theElicitation ProcessAppendices A through M
 
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
NUREG-1829Vol. 2
 
 
AVAILABILITY OF REFERENCE MATERIALSIN NRC PUBLICATIONS
NRC Reference Material
As of November 1999, you may electronically accessNUREG-series publications and other NRC records atNRC’s Public Electronic Reading Room athttp://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html.Publicly released records include, to name a few,NUREG-series publications;
Federal Register 
notices;applicant, licensee, and vendor documents andcorrespondence; NRC correspondence and internalmemoranda; bulletins and information notices;inspection and investigative reports; licensee eventreports; and Commission papers and their attachments.NRC publications in the NUREG series, NRCregulations, and
Title 10, Energy 
, in the Code of
Federal Regulations 
may also be purchased from oneof these two sources.1. The Superintendent of DocumentsU.S. Government Printing OfficeMail Stop SSOPWashington, DC 20402–0001Internet: bookstore.gpo.govTelephone: 202-512-1800Fax: 202-512-22502. The National Technical Information ServiceSpringfield, VA 22161–0002www.ntis.gov1–800–553–6847 or, locally, 703–605–6000A single copy of each NRC draft report for comment isavailable free, to the extent of supply, upon writtenrequest as follows:Address: Office of Administration,Printing and Mail Services BranchU.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionWashington, DC 20555-0001E-mail: DISTRIBUTION@nrc.govFacsimile: 301–415–2289Some publications in the NUREG series that areposted at NRC’s Web site addresshttp://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregsare updated periodically and may differ from the lastprinted version.
 
Although references to material foundon a Web site bear the date the material was accessed,the material available on the date cited maysubsequently be
 
removed from the site.
Non-NRC Reference Material
Documents available from public and special technicallibraries include all open literature items, such asbooks, journal articles, and transactions,
Federal Register 
notices, Federal and State legislation, andcongressional reports. Such documents as theses,dissertations, foreign reports and translations, andnon-NRC conference proceedings may be purchasedfrom their sponsoring organization.Copies of industry codes and standards used in asubstantive manner in the NRC regulatory process aremaintained at—The NRC Technical LibraryTwo White Flint North11545 Rockville PikeRockville, MD 20852–2738These standards are available in the library forreference use by the public. Codes and standards areusually copyrighted and may be purchased from theoriginating organization or, if they are AmericanNational Standards, from—American National Standards Institute11 West 42
nd
StreetNew York, NY 10036–8002www.ansi.org212–642–4900Legally binding regulatory requirements are statedonly in laws; NRC regulations; licenses, includingtechnical specifications; or orders, not inNUREG-series publications. The views expressedin contractor-prepared publications in this series arenot necessarily those of the NRC.The NUREG series comprises (1) technical andadministrative reports and books prepared by thestaff (NUREG–XXXX) or agency contractors(NUREG/CR–XXXX), (2) proceedings ofconferences (NUREG/CP–XXXX), (3) reportsresulting from international agreements(NUREG/IA–XXXX), (4) brochures(NUREG/BR–XXXX), and (5) compilations of legaldecisions and orders of the Commission and Atomicand Safety Licensing Boards and of Directors’decisions under Section 2.206 of NRC’s regulations(NUREG–0750).
 
 
Estimating Loss-of-CoolantAccident (LOCA)Frequencies Through theElicitation Process
Appendices A through M
Manuscript Completed: March 2008Date Published: April 2008Prepared byR. Tregoning (NRC), L. Abramson (NRC)P. Scott (Battelle-Columbus)A. Csontos, NRC Project Manager
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
NUREG-1829Vol. 2

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