2018 Volume 5 Issue 4 Pages 18-00079
A probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) should be performed not only for earthquake and tsunami which are major natural events in Japan but also for other natural external hazards. However, PRA methodologies for other external hazards and their combination have not been sufficiently developed. This study is aimed at developing a PRA methodology for the combination of low temperature and snow for a sodium-cooled fast reactor which uses the ambient air as its ultimate heat sink to remove decay heat under accident conditions. The annual exceedance probabilities of low temperature and of snow can be statistically estimated based on the meteorological records of temperature, snow depth and daily snowfall depth. To identify core damage sequence, an event tree was developed by considering the impact of low temperature and snow on decay heat removal systems (DHRSs), e.g., a clogged intake and/or outtake for a DHRS and for an emergency diesel generator, an unopenable door on necessary access routes due to accumulated snow, failure of intake filters due to accumulated snow, and possibility of water freezing in cooling circuits. Recovery actions (i.e., snow removal and filter replacement) to prevent loss of DHRS function were also considered in developing the event tree. Furthermore, considering that a dominant contributor to snow risk can be failure of snow removal around intakes and outtakes caused by loss of the access routes, this study has investigated effects of electric heaters installed around the intakes and outtakes as an additional countermeasure. By using the annual exceedance probabilities and failure probabilities, the event tree was quantified. The result showed that a dominant core damage sequence caused by a snow and low temperature combination hazard is the failure of the electric heaters and the loss of the access routes for snow removal due to low temperature and snowfall which last for a day, and daily snowfall depth of 2 m/day.