Paper Profile

Fixed Setpoints Introduce Error in Licensing Probability

Documents: Full paper available in Conference Proceedings.
Date: Monday October 19
Time:15:50 - 16:15
Session:1B1: ThermalHydraulics & Safety I
Authors: Frank Laratta (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (Retired))

Although we license fixed (constrained) trip setpoints to a target probability, there is no provision for error in probability calculations or how error can be minimized. Instead, we apply reverse-compliance preconditions on the accident scenario such as a uniform and slow LOR to make probability seem error-free. But how can it be? Probability is calculated from simulated pre-LOR detector readings plus uncertainties before the LOR progression is even knowable. We can conserve probability without preconditions by continuously updating field setpoint equations with on-line detector data. Programmable Digital Controllers (PDC’s) in CANDU 6 plants already have variable setpoints for Steam Generator and Pressurizer Low Level. Even so, these setpoints are constrained as a ramp or step in other CANDU plants and don’t exhibit unconstrained variability. Fixed setpoints penalize safety and operation margins and cause spurious trips. We nevertheless continue to design suboptimal trip setpoint comparators for all trip parameters.

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