Evaluation of the finnish nuclear safety research program safir
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EVALUATION OF THE FINNISH NUCLEAR SAFETY RESEARCH PROGRAM “SAFIR”. PRELIMINARY SUMMARY Presentation in SAFIR 2010 Strategy Seminar Otaniemi, April 6, 2006 Ami Rastas. MAIN QUESTIONS. Are the achieved results in balance with the funding?

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EVALUATION OF THE FINNISH NUCLEAR SAFETY RESEARCH PROGRAM “SAFIR”

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Evaluation of the finnish nuclear safety research program safir

EVALUATION OF THE FINNISH NUCLEAR SAFETY RESEARCH PROGRAM “SAFIR”

PRELIMINARY SUMMARY

Presentation in SAFIR 2010 Strategy Seminar

Otaniemi, April 6, 2006

Ami Rastas


Main questions

MAIN QUESTIONS

  • Are the achieved results in balance with the funding?

  • How well does the expertise cover the field? Is the entire SAFIR program balanced to all different fields in nuclear safety?

  • Has the 2004 reorganization of the funding been successful?


Evaluation panel

EVALUATION PANEL

  • David Diamond, Brookhaven National Laboratory, United States

  • Ami Rastas, Consultant, Finland

  • Helmut Schulz, Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH, Germany


Information provided to the evaluation panel 1 2

INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE EVALUATION PANEL (1/2)

Background Material

  • “FINNUS The Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Safety 1999-2002 Executive Summary,” VTT Research Notes 2165 (2002).

  • Government Proposal to Parliament for a Law Concerning Amendment of the Nuclear Energy Act (c. 2003).

    Planning Reports

  • National ar Power Plant Safety Research 2003-2006, Proposal for the Content Organisation of a New Research, Ad-Hoc Committee Report, Ministry of Trade and Industry, translation 23.12.2005

  • E.K. Puska, SAFIR The Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Safety Annual Plans for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 (draft)


Information provided to the evaluation panel 2 2

INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE EVALUATION PANEL (2/2)

Summary Reports

  • H. Räty and E.K. Puska, “SAFIR The Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Safety 2003-2006 Interim Report,” VTT Tiedotteita 2272 (2004).

  • E.K. Puska, SAFIR The Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Safety, Annual Reports for 2003, 2004 and 2005 (draft).

  • List of academic degrees awarded from SAFIR in 2005.

    Publications

  • All SAFIR publications in the open literature for 2003, 2004, and 2005.


Interviews march 20 23 2006

INTERVIEWS, MARCH 20-23, 2006

  • Members of the Steering Group (9)

    • direction, administration and funding

  • Project persons (14)

    • contents of the projects

  • Members of the Reference Groups (23)

    • usefulness and application of the results to end users


General conclusions

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS

  • SAFIR allows the regulatory authority, utilities and research organizations to work together in maintaining and developing safety analysis tools and expertise. No indication that this collaboration compromises the independence of the regulatory authority.

  • SAFIR provides excellent opportunities to attract and train young persons needed in Finland to address safety (generation change).

  • SAFIR provides a framework for international collaboration; particularly important for smaller countries.

  • Quality of work is comparable to what is found in other international research organizations and of high value in relation to human and financial resources of the program.


Answers to main questions 1 3

ANSWERS TO MAIN QUESTIONS (1/3)

1.ARE THE ACHIEVED RESULTS IN BALANCE WITH THE FUNDING?

Yes

Contributing factors

  • synergy from other projects supported by utilities/STUK/VTT/TEKES/EU Framework Programs.

  • long standing involvement of VTT


Answers to main questions 2 3

ANSWERS TO MAIN QUESTIONS (2/3)

2.HOW WELL DOES THE EXPERTISE COVER THE FIELD? IS THE SAFIR PROGRAMME BALANCED TO ALL DIFFERENT FIELDS IN NUCLEAR SAFETY?

  • Generally good coverage in nuclear safety

  • Good balance between experimental and analytical work

  • Good balance between scientific and applied research

  • More weight could be considered on the following areas: 

    • Reliability of digital I&C

    • Containment issues: more parametric studies on containment behavior under different scenarios

    • Aging and condition monitoring of cables (including functional requirements in accident conditions)

    • Extreme weather conditions (long term predictions)

    • Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis methods


Answers to main questions 3 3

ANSWERS TO MAIN QUESTIONS (3/3)

3.HAS THE 2004 REORGANIZATION OF THE FUNDING BEEN SUCCESSFUL?

Generally yes

  • No major disturbance to the technical program and administration model (no complaints heard)

  • New funding system assures adequate funding of safety research independent of potential cost pressure in utilities

  • Total research funding is not driven by new ideas or actual needs but by a fixed budget. Utilities/STUK/VTT can adjust their own research/contract workin accordance with the need in order to compensate this weakness.


Challenges and recommendations 1 2

CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS (1/2)

  • Project planning could be multi-year when applicable rather than annual

    • Elimination of undue bureaucratic work to renew

    • Better assurance to research workers for continuation

  • Evaluation criteria of project proposal could be adjusted, e.g. increase the weight of international cooperation, criterion to maintain capability,..

  • Grouping of projects could be reconsidered so that oversight is more efficient (balanced expertise in reference groups)

    • Smaller, perhaps larger number of reference groups.

  • Reference group meeting procedure:

    • detailed technical discussions in ad hoc groups

    • concentration to limited number of themes in reference group meetings (not covering all projects in detail in every meeting)


Challenges and recommendations 2 2

CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS (2/2)

  • Too many independent code development projects; need improved models within existing codes

    • Strategic planning of code development/application needed

  • Good contacts between experimental and analytical work should be maintained (LUT/VTT).

  • International participation in the projects should be pursued, efforts to obtain international support for experimantal facilities should be increased.

  • Archiving of all SAFIR research data could be arranged in a similar way as in KOETAR project.

  • Projects should be planned taking into account the existing state-of-the-art as documented through the IAEA, NEA or other organizations.


Group 1 reactor fuel and core

GROUP 1, REACTOR FUEL AND CORE

  • A strategic plan be developed to determine which codes will be pursued in the future, which codes will be consolidated and which codes no longer supported.

  • Overlapping and duplication should be eliminated where possible.

  • Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis are important and should be pursued.

  • In spite of difficulties in getting people to work on fuel behavior it is an important area that should be pursued (higher burnup, new fuel designs).


Group 2 reactor circuit and structural safety

GROUP 2, REACTOR CIRCUIT AND STRUCTURAL SAFETY

  • Present program addresses most pressing issues on aging of primary circuit components at sufficient level and needs to be maintained in a similar way.

  • Good contacts to foreign research organisations and international working groups.

  • Different views regarding predictability of long-term behavior of pre-stressed and reinforced concrete structures in international community; development of possible surveillance and testing methods could be item for future research.


Group 3a thermal hydraulics

GROUP 3A, THERMAL HYDRAULICS

  • The number of codes being supported should be limited.

  • Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis are important and should be pursued.

  • Capability of calculating BWR stability should be assured.

  • Modelling of non-condensable gases in accident analysis is important. 

  • Maintaining and improving LUT facilities provides unique opportunities - foreign collaboration should be pursued.


Group 3b containment

GROUP 3B, CONTAINMENT

  • WARSI/IMPACT facility provides unique possibilities for safety relevant experiments and is judged to be attractive for international cooperation.

  • Assessment of results from planned WARSI/IMPACT studies in 2006 need careful evaluation before proceeding further.

  • Assessment and updating of severe accident analysis tools (partly addressed in SANCY) important and probably needs to be pursued.


Group 4 automation control room and information technology

GROUP 4, AUTOMATION, CONTROL ROOM AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • IDEC has provided theoretical basis for evaluation of the usability of complex systems. In the next phase, efforts should be concentrated to to finalize a practical tool for control room evaluations.

  • Projects like IDEC would benefit if the project group includes persons having direct experience in power plant operation.

  • Establishing small projects, like ROVEL and WHISKE, is an advisable way to collect, analyse and disseminate information for solving acute problems being generic for all nuclear power plants in Finland.

  • It has been difficult to find qualified people on software qualification but important to pursue.

  • One possible research area could be proper verification and validation methods for pre-existing industrial I&C systems to be used in applications important to nuclear safety.


Group 5 organisations and safety management

GROUP 5, ORGANISATIONS AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT

  • The panel regards it as progressive that the SAFIR program includes also research projects related to the human performance.

  • Knowledge on human performance improvement in non-nuclear organizations should be taken into account when planning research in this area.

  • Needs of the organizations to be studied should be carefully clarified before the next phases of CULMA (workshop?)

  • The transfer of the tacit knowledge is a special challenge and needs systematic methods. The research in this area should be pursued.


Group 6 risk informed safety management

GROUP 6, RISK-INFORMED SAFETY MANAGEMENT

  • Risk-related research has many facets that should be pursued and expansion of this effort should be considered.

  • POTFIS project is an ambitious effort to improve fire modelling.

  • In the future program, it could be considered to form a dedicated Group covering the PPRISMA area including projects which correspond the current PPRISMA subprojects.

  • The application of risk-informed approach to in-service-inspections and technical specifications could be potential topics to be included in the future program.

  • Research on extreme weather conditions (frequency and trends) could be included in the future program.


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