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Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program 

Enhanced Resilient Plant (ERP) Workshop

July 30-31, 2019


Ongoing initiatives in the nuclear industry seek to enhance the safety and improve the economic competiveness of existing nuclear power plants. These initiatives include efforts on developing Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF), Diverse and Flexible Coping Strategy (FLEX), extending the Terry Turbine Systems (i.e., Reactor Core Isolation Cooling [RCIC]/Turbine-Driven Auxiliary Feedwater [TDAFW]) Operating Band, and the development of the passive cooling systems (e.g., the Dynamic Natural Convection [DNC] system being developed by NuVision and DYNAC Systems). All of these have the potential to offer longer time windows (i.e., coping time) for operator mitigating actions, and better human reliability to implement required actions during plant abnormal operation or severe accident conditions. Longer coping time should permit effective utilization of the FLEX equipment and accompanying mitigating strategies during postulated events. The collective changes resulting from these initiatives aggregately contribute to plants that are more resilient to off-normal events. The benefits of enhanced resilient plants are envisioned to be the following:

  1. Safety Enhancements (increased margins on Peak Clad Temperature [PCT], Departure from Nucleate Boiling Ratio [DNBR], Increased Coping Time, Reduced Hydrogen Generation, etc.).
  2. Risk Reduction (Core Damage Frequency [CDF] and Large Early Release Frequency [LERF] reduction).
  3. Economic Improvements (Operating Cost Reduction, Increased Availability).
  4. Additional credit for existing plant systems or components, such as FLEX, TDAFW, and RCIC.

The safety and risk benefits of these technologies have to be quantified such that the investment on these technologies can be monetized in order to achieve cost reduction. Various efforts are going on in the national labs, academia, and the industry to quantify the risks and benefits of these technologies. Since different approaches, assumptions, data, and computer codes are used by different stakeholders, the evaluation of these technologies may result in varied conclusions in terms of the expected risk reduction and safety and economics improvements. Consequently, there is a need to "harmonize" the analysis methods wherever possible.

The primary objectives of this workshop will be to:

  1. Discuss technologies that can contribute to the enhanced resilience of nuclear power plants
  2. Present approaches being used to analyze and evaluate these technologies
  3. Benchmark approaches and identify opportunities to coordinate activities
  4. Develop a schedule of efforts and outcomes that may contribute to the needed capabilities to support deployment of resilient plant technologies and the means for evaluating their impact on plant safety and economics. 

The expected outcome of this workshop is a characterization and understanding of methods and modeling approaches that will contribute to the enhanced resilience of NPPs and permit plant operators to enhance safety and economic performance.

The specific topics to be covered in this workshop include the following:

  1. A review of the technologies that may contribute to Enhanced Resilience of NPPs.
  2. The identification of the various analysis methods used to evaluate the ERP technologies including both technical and economic (cost/benefit) evaluations.
  3. The identification of the metrics used in the evaluation of the ERP technologies.
  4. The identification of the gaps on data and analysis capabilities.
  5. The standardization of the various analysis approaches used by national labs, academia, and the industry and identification of the pathways to obtain regulatory acceptance for them when necessary.
  6. Options for coordinating or collaborating among activities to leverage capabilities, data, method development, and other work efforts.
  7. Recommendations for how to advance technology development and deployment to achieve cost reduction through the investment of these technologies to achieve improved performance of NPPs.

ERP Workshop Report


Hongbin Zhang, Ph.D.
ph: (208) 526-9511
cell: (208) 709-5298

Curtis Smith
ph: (208) 526-9804
cell: (208) 201-9110

​Shawn St. Germain
ph: (208) 526-9575
cell: (208) 360-4341