Book
1 online resource (29 p.) : digital, PDF file.
There are many technologies available to the nuclear power industry to improve efficiency in plant work activities. These range from new control room technologies to those for mobile field workers. They can make a positive impact on a wide range of performance objectives – increase in productivity, human error reduction, validation of results, accurate transfer of data, and elimination of repetitive tasks. It is expected that the industry will more and more turn to these technologies to achieve these operational efficiencies to lower costs. At the same time, this will help utilities manage a looming staffing problem as the inevitable retirement wave of the more seasoned workers affects both staffing levels and knowledge retention. A barrier to this wide-scale implementation of new technologies for operational efficiency is the lack of a comprehensive digital architecture that can support the real-time information exchanges needed to achieve the desired operational efficiencies. This project will define an advanced digital architecture that will accommodate the entire range of system, process, and plant worker activity to enable the highest degree of integration, thereby creating maximum efficiency and productivity. This pilot project will consider a range of open standards that are suitable for the various data and communication requirements of a seamless digital environment. It will map these standards into an overall architecture to support the II&C developments of this research program.
Book
1 online resource (33 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Concrete is widely used in the construction of nuclear facilities because of its structural strength and its ability to shield radiation. The use of concrete in nuclear facilities for containment and shielding of radiation and radioactive materials has made its performance crucial for the safe operation of the facility. As such, when life extension is considered for nuclear power plants, it is critical to have predictive tools to address concerns related to aging processes of concrete structures and the capacity of structures subjected to age-related degradation. The goal of this report is to review and document the main aging mechanisms of concern for concrete structures in nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the models used in simulations of concrete aging and structural response of degraded concrete structures. This is in preparation for future work to develop and apply models for aging processes and response of aged NPP concrete structures in the Grizzly code. To that end, this report also provides recommendations for developing more robust predictive models for aging effects of performance of concrete.
Book
1 online resource (40 p.) : digital, PDF file.
In the aftermath of the March 2011 multi-unit accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Fukushima), the nuclear community has been reassessing certain safety assumptions about nuclear reactor plant design, operations and emergency actions, particularly with respect to extreme events that might occur and that are beyond each plant’s current design basis. Because of our significant domestic investment in nuclear reactor technology (99 operating reactors in the fleet of commercial LWRs with five under construction), the United States has been a major leader internationally in these activities. The U.S. nuclear industry is voluntarily pursuing a number of additional safety initiatives. The NRC continues to evaluate and, where deemed appropriate, establish new requirements for ensuring adequate protection of public health and safety in the occurrence of low probability events at nuclear plants; (e.g., mitigation strategies for beyond design basis events initiated by external events like seismic or flooding initiators). The DOE has also played a major role in the U.S. response to the Fukushima accident. Initially, DOE worked with the Japanese and the international community to help develop a more complete understanding of the Fukushima accident progression and its consequences, and to respond to various safety concerns emerging from uncertainties about the nature of and the effects from the accident. DOE R&D activities are focused on providing scientific and technical insights, data, analyses methods that ultimately support industry efforts to enhance safety. These activities are expected to further enhance the safety performance of currently operating U.S. nuclear power plants as well as better characterize the safety performance of future U.S. plants. In pursuing this area of R&D, DOE recognizes that the commercial nuclear industry is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of licensed nuclear facilities. As such, industry is considered the primary “end user” of the results from this DOE-sponsored work. The response to the Fukushima accident has been global, and there is a continuing multinational interest in collaborations to better quantify accident consequences and to incorporate lessons learned from the accident. DOE will continue to seek opportunities to facilitate collaborations that are of value to the U.S. industry, particularly where the collaboration provides access to vital data from the accident or otherwise supports or leverages other important R&D work. The purpose of the Reactor Safety Technology R&D is to improve understanding of beyond design basis events and reduce uncertainty in severe accident progression, phenomenology, and outcomes using existing analytical codes and information gleaned from severe accidents, in particular the Fukushima Daiichi events. This information will be used to aid in developing mitigating strategies and improving severe accident management guidelines for the current light water reactor fleet.
Book
1 online resource (47 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The existing fleet of nuclear power plants is in the process of extending its lifetime and increasing the power generated from these plants via power uprates. In order to evaluate the impact of these factors on the safety of the plant, the Risk Informed Safety Margin Characterization (RISMC) project aims to provide insight to decision makers through a series of simulations of the plant dynamics for different initial conditions (e.g., probabilistic analysis and uncertainty quantification). This report focuses, in particular, on the application of a RISMC detailed demonstration case study for an emergent issue using the RAVEN and RELAP-7 tools. This case study looks at the impact of a couple of challenges to a hypothetical pressurized water reactor, including: (1) a power uprate, (2) a potential loss of off-site power followed by the possible loss of all diesel generators (i.e., a station black-out event), (3) and earthquake induces station-blackout, and (4) a potential earthquake induced tsunami flood. The analysis is performed by using a set of codes: a thermal-hydraulic code (RELAP-7), a flooding simulation tool (NEUTRINO) and a stochastic analysis tool (RAVEN) – these are currently under development at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Book
1 online resource (34 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program aims to develop and deploy technologies that will make the existing U.S. nuclear fleet more efficient and competitive. The program has developed a standard methodology for determining the impact of new technologies in order to assist nuclear power plant (NPP) operators in building sound business cases. The Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control (II&C) Systems Technologies Pathway is part of the DOE’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program. It conducts targeted research and development (R&D) to address aging and reliability concerns with the legacy instrumentation and control and related information systems of the U.S. operating light water reactor (LWR) fleet. This work involves two major goals: (1) to ensure that legacy analog II&C systems are not life-limiting issues for the LWR fleet and (2) to implement digital II&C technology in a manner that enables broad innovation and business improvement in the NPP operating model. Resolving long-term operational concerns with the II&C systems contributes to the long-term sustainability of the LWR fleet, which is vital to the nation’s energy and environmental security. The II&C Pathway is conducting a series of pilot projects that enable the development and deployment of new II&C technologies in existing nuclear plants. Through the LWRS program, individual utilities and plants are able to participate in these projects or otherwise leverage the results of projects conducted at demonstration plants. Performance advantages of the new pilot project technologies are widely acknowledged, but it has proven difficult for utilities to derive business cases for justifying investment in these new capabilities. Lack of a business case is often cited by utilities as a barrier to pursuing wide-scale application of digital technologies to nuclear plant work activities. The decision to move forward with funding usually hinges on demonstrating actual cost reductions that can be credited to budgets and thereby truly reduce O&M or capital costs. Technology enhancements, while enhancing work methods and making work more efficient, often fail to eliminate workload such that it changes overall staffing and material cost requirements. It is critical to demonstrate cost reductions or impacts on non-cost performance objectives in order for the business case to justify investment by nuclear operators. The Business Case Methodology (BCM) addresses the “benefit” side of the analysis—as opposed to the cost side—and how the organization evaluates discretionary projects (net present value (NPV), accounting effects of taxes, discount rates, etc.). The cost and analysis side is not particularly difficult for the organization and can usually be determined with a fair amount of precision (not withstanding implementation project cost overruns). It is in determining the "benefits" side of the analysis that utilities have more difficulty in technology projects and that is the focus of this methodology.
Book
1 online resource (56 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The Computer-Based Procedure (CBP) research effort is a part of the Light-Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, which is a research and development (R&D) program sponsored by Department of Energy (DOE) and performed in close collaboration with industry R&D programs that provides the technical foundations for licensing and managing the long-term, safe, and economical operation of current nuclear power plants. One of the primary missions of the LWRS program is to help the U.S. nuclear industry adopt new technologies and engineering solutions that facilitate the continued safe operation of the plants and extension of the current operating licenses. One area that could yield tremendous savings in increased efficiency and safety is in improving procedure use. Nearly all activities in the nuclear power industry are guided by procedures, which today are printed and executed on paper. This paper-based procedure process has proven to ensure safety; however, there are improvements to be gained. Due to its inherent dynamic nature, a CBP provides the opportunity to incorporate context driven job aids, such as drawings, photos, and just-in-time training. Compared to the static state of paper-based procedures (PBPs), the presentation of information in CBPs can be much more flexible and tailored to the task, actual plant condition, and operation mode. The dynamic presentation of the procedure will guide the user down the path of relevant steps, thus minimizing time spent by the field worker to evaluate plant conditions and decisions related to the applicability of each step. This dynamic presentation of the procedure also minimizes the risk of conducting steps out of order and/or incorrectly assessed applicability of steps.
Reliable instrumentation, information, and control
Book
1 online resource (30 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Welcome to the 2014 Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program Accomplishments Report, covering research and development highlights from 2014. The LWRS Program is a U.S. Department of Energy research and development program to inform and support the long-term operation of our nation’s commercial nuclear power plants. The research uses the unique facilities and capabilities at the Department of Energy national laboratories in collaboration with industry, academia, and international partners. Extending the operating lifetimes of current plants is essential to supporting our nation’s base load energy infrastructure, as well as reaching the Administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. The purpose of the LWRS Program is to provide technical results for plant owners to make informed decisions on long-term operation and subsequent license renewal, reducing the uncertainty, and therefore the risk, associated with those decisions. In January 2013, 104 nuclear power plants operated in 31 states. However, since then, five plants have been shut down (several due to economic reasons), with additional shutdowns under consideration. The LWRS Program aims to minimize the number of plants that are shut down, with R&D that supports long-term operation both directly (via data that is needed for subsequent license renewal), as well indirectly (with models and technology that provide economic benefits). The LWRS Program continues to work closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to ensure that the body of information needed to support SLR decisions and actions is available in a timely manner. This report covers selected highlights from the three research pathways in the LWRS Program: Materials Aging and Degradation, Risk-Informed Safety Margin Characterization, and Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control Systems Technologies, as well as a look-ahead at planned activities for 2015. If you have any questions about the information in the report, or about the LWRS Program, please contact me, Richard A. Reister (the Federal Program Manager), or the respective research pathway leader (noted on pages 26 and 27), or visit the LWRS Program website (www.inl.gov/lwrs). The annually updated Integrated Program Plan and Pathway Technical Program Plans are also available for those seeking more detailed technical Information.
The nuclear power industry is highly proceduralize
The online monitoring of active components project
Summary report for Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) activities related to the R. E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point Unit 1 for FY13.
Book
1 online resource (85 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Nuclear power has safely, reliably, and economically contributed almost 20% of electrical generation in the United States over the past two decades. It remains the single largest contributor (more than 70%) of non-greenhouse-gas-emitting electric power generation in the United States. Domestic demand for electrical energy is expected to experience a 31% growth from 2009 to 2035. At the same time, most of the currently operating nuclear power plants will begin reaching the end of their initial 20-year extension to their original 40-year operating license for a total of 60 years of operation. Figure E-1 shows projected nuclear energy contribution to the domestic generating capacity. If current operating nuclear power plants do not operate beyond 60 years, the total fraction of generated electrical energy from nuclear power will begin to decline—even with the expected addition of new nuclear generating capacity. The oldest commercial plants in the United States reached their 40th anniversary in 2009. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy’s Research and Development Roadmap (Nuclear Energy Roadmap) organizes its activities around four objectives that ensure nuclear energy remains a compelling and viable energy option for the United States. The four objectives are as follows: (1) develop technologies and other solutions that can improve the reliability, sustain the safety, and extend the life of the current reactors; (2) develop improvements in the affordability of new reactors to enable nuclear energy to help meet the Administration’s energy security and climate change goals; (3) develop sustainable nuclear fuel cycles; and (4) understand and minimize the risks of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program is the primary programmatic activity that addresses Objective 1. This document summarizes the LWRS Program’s plans.
Summary report for Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) activities related to the R. E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point Unit 1 for FY12.
Summary report for Fiscal Year 2011 activities associated with the Constellation Pilot Project. The project is a joint effor between Constellation Nuclear Energy Group (CENG), EPRI, and the DOE Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program. The project utilizes two CENG reactor stations: R.E. Ginna and Nine Point Unit 1. Included in the report are activities associate with reactor internals and concrete containments.
Book
1 online resource (27 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Risk calculations should focus on providing best estimate results, and associated insights, for evaluation and decision-making. Specifically, seismic probabilistic risk assessments (SPRAs) are intended to provide best estimates of the various combinations of structural and equipment failures that can lead to a seismic induced core damage event. However, in some instances the current SPRA approach has large uncertainties, and potentially masks other important events (for instance, it was not the seismic motions that caused the Fukushima core melt events, but the tsunami ingress into the facility). SPRA’s are performed by convolving the seismic hazard (this is the estimate of all likely damaging earthquakes at the site of interest) with the seismic fragility (the conditional probability of failure of a structure, system, or component given the occurrence of earthquake ground motion). In this calculation, there are three main pieces to seismic risk quantification, 1) seismic hazard and nuclear power plants (NPPs) response to the hazard, 2) fragility or capacity of structures, systems and components (SSC), and 3) systems analysis. Two areas where NLSSI effects may be important in SPRA calculations are, 1) when calculating in-structure response at the area of interest, and 2) calculation of seismic fragilities (current fragility calculations assume a lognormal distribution for probability of failure of components). Some important effects when using NLSSI in the SPRA calculation process include, 1) gapping and sliding, 2) inclined seismic waves coupled with gapping and sliding of foundations atop soil, 3) inclined seismic waves coupled with gapping and sliding of deeply embedded structures, 4) soil dilatancy, 5) soil liquefaction, 6) surface waves, 7) buoyancy, 8) concrete cracking and 9) seismic isolation The focus of the research task presented here-in is on implementation of NLSSI into the SPRA calculation process when calculating in-structure response at the area of interest. The specific nonlinear soil behavior included in the NLSSI calculation presented in this report is gapping and sliding. Other NLSSI effects are not included in the calculation. The results presented in this report document initial model runs in the linear and nonlinear analysis process. Final comparisons between traditional and advanced SPRA will be presented in the September 30th deliverable.
Nuclear power has safely, reliably, and economically contributed almost 20% of electrical generation in the United States over the past two decades. It remains the single largest contributor (more than 70%) of non-greenhouse-gas-emitting electric power generation in the United States. Domestic demand for electrical energy is expected to experience a 31% growth from 2009 to 2035. At the same time, most of the currently operating nuclear power plants will begin reaching the end of their initial 20-year extension to their original 40-year operating license for a total of 60 years of operation. Figure E-1 shows projected nuclear energy contribution to the domestic generating capacity. If current operating nuclear power plants do not operate beyond 60 years, the total fraction of generated electrical energy from nuclear power will begin to decline—even with the expected addition of new nuclear generating capacity. The oldest commercial plants in the United States reached their 40th anniversary in 2009. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy’s Research and Development Roadmap (Nuclear Energy Roadmap) organizes its activities around four objectives that ensure nuclear energy remains a compelling and viable energy option for the United States. The four objectives are as follows: (1) develop technologies and other solutions that can improve the reliability, sustain the safety, and extend the life of the current reactors; (2) develop improvements in the affordability of new reactors to enable nuclear energy to help meet the Administration’s energy security and climate change goals; (3) develop sustainable nuclear fuel cycles; and (4) understand and minimize the risks of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program is the primary programmatic activity that addresses Objective 1. This document summarizes the LWRS Program’s plans.
Nuclear power has safely, reliably, and economically contributed almost 20% of electrical generation in the United States over the past two decades. It remains the single largest contributor (more than 70%) of non-greenhouse-gas-emitting electric power generation in the United States. Domestic demand for electrical energy is expected to experience a 31% growth from 2009 to 2035. At the same time, most of the currently operating nuclear power plants will begin reaching the end of their initial 20-year extension to their original 40-year operating license for a total of 60 years of operation. Figure E-1 shows projected nuclear energy contribution to the domestic generating capacity. If current operating nuclear power plants do not operate beyond 60 years, the total fraction of generated electrical energy from nuclear power will begin to decline - even with the expected addition of new nuclear generating capacity. The oldest commercial plants in the United States reached their 40th anniversary in 2009. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy's Research and Development Roadmap (Nuclear Energy Roadmap) organizes its activities around four objectives that ensure nuclear energy remains a compelling and viable energy option for the United States. The four objectives are as follows: (1) develop technologies and other solutions that can improve the reliability, sustain the safety, and extend the life of the current reactors; (2) develop improvements in the affordability of new reactors to enable nuclear energy to help meet the Administration's energy security and climate change goals; (3) develop sustainable nuclear fuel cycles; and (4) understand and minimize the risks of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program is the primary programmatic activity that addresses Objective 1. This document summarizes the LWRS Program's plans.
Scientific research involves the purchasing, processing, characterization, and fabrication of many sample materials. The history of such materials can become complicated over their lifetime – materials might be cut into pieces or moved to various storage locations, for example. A database with built-in functions to track these kinds of processes facilitates well-organized research. The Material Inventory Database Accounting System (MIDAS) is an easy-to-use tracking and reference system for such items. The Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program (LWRS), which seeks to advance the long-term reliability and productivity of existing nuclear reactors in the United States through multiple research pathways, proposed MIDAS as an efficient way to organize and track all items used in its research. The database software ensures traceability of all items used in research using built-in functions which can emulate actions on tracked items – fabrication, processing, splitting, and more – by performing operations on the data. MIDAS can recover and display the complete history of any item as a simple report. To ensure the database functions suitably for the organization of research, it was developed alongside a specific experiment to test accident tolerant nuclear fuel cladding under the LWRS Advanced Light Water Reactor Nuclear Fuels Pathway. MIDAS kept track of materials used in this experiment from receipt at the laboratory through all processes, test conduct and, ultimately, post-test analysis. By the end of this process, the database proved to be right tool for this program. The database software will help LWRS more efficiently conduct research experiments, from simple characterization tests to in-reactor experiments. Furthermore, MIDAS is a universal tool that any other research team could use to organize their material inventory.
The Digital Architecture effort is a part of the Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored Light-Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program conducted at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The LWRS program is performed in close collaboration with industry research and development (R&D) programs that provides the technical foundations for licensing and managing the long-term, safe, and economical operation of current nuclear power plants (NPPs). One of the primary missions of the LWRS program is to help the U.S. nuclear industry adopt new technologies and engineering solutions that facilitate the continued safe operation of the plants and extension of the current operating licenses. Therefore, a major objective of the LWRS program is the development of a seamless digital environment for plant operations and support by integrating information from plant systems with plant processes for nuclear workers through an array of interconnected technologies. In order to get the most benefits of the advanced technology suggested by the different research activities in the LWRS program, the nuclear utilities need a digital architecture in place to support the technology. A digital architecture can be defined as a collection of information technology (IT) capabilities needed to support and integrate a wide-spectrum of real-time digital capabilities for nuclear power plant performance improvements. It is not hard to imagine that many processes within the plant can be largely improved from both a system and human performance perspective by utilizing a plant wide (or near plant wide) wireless network. For example, a plant wide wireless network allows for real time plant status information to easily be accessed in the control room, field workers’ computer-based procedures can be updated based on the real time plant status, and status on ongoing procedures can be incorporated into smart schedules in the outage command center to allow for more accurate planning of critical tasks. The goal of the digital architecture project is to provide a long-term strategy to integrate plant systems, plant processes, and plant workers. This include technologies to improve nuclear worker efficiency and human performance; to offset a range of plant surveillance and testing activities with new on-line monitoring technologies; improve command, control, and collaboration in settings such as outage control centers and work execution centers; and finally to improve operator performance with new operator aid technologies for the control room. The requirements identified through the activities in the Digital Architecture project will be used to estimate the amount of traffic on the network and hence estimating the minimal bandwidth needed.
Nuclear power has contributed almost 20% of the to

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