UCLA-GI Support for Developing Best Practices for Integrating Safety Assessment into Advanced Reactor Design (PHA to PRA)

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Sponsor: Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Project Title: UCLA-GI Support for Developing Best Practices for Integrating Safety Assessment into Advanced Reactor Design (PHA to PRA)

PI: Professor Ali Mosleh
Funding Level: $160,000


Project Description:

Public and private sector interest and investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies is growing as utilities and other energy suppliers seek options for scalable, dispatchable, concentrated, and non- emitting energy sources. Advanced reactors employ a combination of new coolants, fuels, materials, and power conversion technologies that, if commercialized, offer substantial improvements over current generation technology in terms of safety, economics, performance and long-term energy security. Successful commercialization requires early engagement of the current advanced reactor developers with the licensing regulators, for an alignment of the requirements and expectations.

Based on needs identified by stakeholders, EPRI seeks to define an approach that facilitates the design- to-license via the integration of safety analysis elements introduced by the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) and Probabilistic Risk Assessment analysis (PRA). This initiative draws on and benefits from a related project recently completed by EPRI and Vanderbilt University (VU) in collaboration with Southern Company that included a first-of-a-kind preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) for another liquid fueled molten salt reactor.

The value of this work derives from the collectionof best practices that:

1) supports a more incremental step-wise approach to licensing (therefore reducing the schedule and scope uncertainties);

2) supports a more risk-informed and performance based licensing framework;

3) leverages investment in design over the entire lifecycle; and

4) facilitates early identification of unaddressed gaps and risks.

Early and meaningful progress on this initiative should provide tangible benefits for many in the advanced reactor community, as they currently face daunting challenges building a safety case in a balanced, incremental manner for the licensing regulators.

UCLA will be responsible for some tasks and deliverables and will support execution of other tasks and deliverables as indicated herein. EPRI will also engage nuclear industry key stakeholders (industry, laboratory and government experts) in one or more workshops designed to share lessons-learned and collect feedback that will be incorporated in the final “PHA to PRA” project.