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Fusion Science and Technology
Matthew Denman: On Probabilistic Risk Assessment
Probabilistic risk assessment is a systematic methodology for evaluating risks associated with a complex engineered technology such as nuclear energy. PRA risk is defined in terms of possible detrimental outcomes of an activity or action, and as such, risk is characterized by three quantities: what can go wrong, the likelihood of the problem, and the resulting consequences of the problem.
Matthew Denman is principal engineer for reliability engineering at Kairos Power and the chair of the American Nuclear Society and American Society of Mechanical Engineers Joint Committee on Nuclear Risk Management’s Subcommittee of Standards Development. As a college student at the University of Florida, Denman took a course on PRA but didn’t enjoy it, because he did not see its connection to the nuclear power industry. Later, during his Ph.D. study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his advisor was Neil Todreas, a well-known thermal hydraulics expert. Todreas was working on a project with George Apostolakis, who would leave MIT to become a commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The project, “Risk Informing the Design of the Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor,” was a multi-university effort funded through a Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) grant. Todreas and Apostolakis were joined in this project by a who’s who of nuclear academia, including Andy Kadak (MIT, ANS past president [1999–2000]), Mike Driscoll (MIT), Mike Golay (MIT), Mike Lineberry (Idaho State University, former ANS treasurer), Rich Denning (Ohio State University), and Tunc Aldemir (Ohio State University).
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 57 | Number 2 | February 2010 | Pages 330-338
Transport Theory | Proceedings of the Ninth Carolus Magnus Summer School on Plasma and Fusion Energy Physics | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST10-A9424
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The classical transport theory is strictly valid for a plasma in a homogeneous and stationary magnetic field. In the '60, experiments have shown that this theory does not apply as a local theory of transport in Tokamaks. It was shown that global geometric characteristics of the confining elements have a strong influence on the transport. Three regimes of collisionality are characteristic of the neoclassical transport theory: the banana regime (the electronic diffusion coefficient increases starting from zero), the plateau regime (the diffusion coefficient is almost independent of the collisionality) and the Pfirsch-Schlüter regime (the electronic diffusion coefficient again increases with collisionality).