The Risk from Transients According to Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA)

  • B. John Garrick
  • Vicki M. Bier


Transient analysis has been a fundamental part of nuclear safety assessments since the idea of a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction first emerged. The emphasis has changed with the size and type of reactors involved. During the early stages of reactor development, the emphasis was on neutronics; that is, on reactor control and kinetics. The large light water reactors required an understanding of thermal hydraulics during transients, thus shifting the emphasis somewhat from reactor physics considerations to the thermal and pressure response characteristics of the primary system to plant disturbances. Of course, there is the very important area of transient analysis associated with containment and core response following an accident that leads to a damaged core. In the latter category of transient analysis, there are still a number of phenomenological questions at issue. Many of these have to do with the rate and magnitude of rapid pressure increases due to steam generation from the interaction of core debris with water. Some of the concern for these types of transients has subsided with a greater understanding of their contribution to risk. This is because without a simultaneous hydrogen burn, steam spikes in most cases are not likely to cause early overpressure failure of the containment.


Pressurize Water Reactor Diesel Generator Probabilistic Risk Assessment Indian Point Boiling Water Reactor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. John Garrick
    • 1
  • Vicki M. Bier
    • 1
  1. 1.Pickard, Lowe and Garrick, Inc.IrvineUSA

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