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LOCA with Consequential or Delayed LOOP: Modeling of Accident Sequences and Associated Core Damage Frequency

Gerardo Martinez-Guridi, Pranab Samanta, Tsong-Lun Chu, Ji-Wu Yang

Nuclear Technology

Volume 131 / Number 3 / September 2000 / Pages 297-318


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Following a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) in a nuclear power plant (NPP), the loss of electric-power generation, as might be precipitated by the unit tripping, may cause switchyard- and grid-instability with a subsequent loss-of-off-site power (LOOP). The LOOP usually is delayed by a few seconds or longer. This accident is called a LOCA with consequential LOOP, or a LOCA with delayed LOOP (abbreviated as LOCA/LOOP). NPPs are designed to cope with simultaneous LOCA and LOOP. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) identified this issue as generic safety issue (GSI) 171, "Engineered Safety Feature Failure from a Loss-Of-Off-Site Power Subsequent to a Loss-of-Coolant Accident." NRC subsequently dropped GSI-171 and considers it resolved. We present the probabilistic risk analysis of the LOCA/LOOP scenario that was conducted as part of NRC's resolution of GSI-171. We analyze and quantify the core damage frequency (CDF) associated with this accident. Event/fault trees are developed covering the progression of the accident to core damage. We used engineering evaluations and judgments to estimate probabilities for the conditions identified in a LOCA/LOOP scenario and to obtain a bounding evaluation of the CDF. We show that the contribution of such an accident to CDF depends on electrical-load sequencing and shedding capabilities; plants with adequate capabilities incur a minimal additional contribution to risk. No single plant design is known to be vulnerable to all the conditions; only some of the conditions may apply to some plants.

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