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A Risk-Uncertainty Formula Accounting for Uncertainties of Failure Probability and Consequence in a Nuclear Powerplant

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeffrey T. Fong, James J. Filliben, N. Alan Heckert, Robert E. Chapman

National Institute of Standards & Tech. (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD

Stephen R. Gosselin

Scandpower Risk Management, Inc., Richland, WA

Pedro V. Marcal

MPact Corp., Julian, CA

Paper No. PVP2010-25168, pp. 1065-1089; 25 pages
  • ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Division/K-PVP Conference
  • ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference: Volume 6, Parts A and B
  • Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 18–22, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-49255 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3878-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper is a continuation of a recent ASME Conference paper entitled “Design of a Python-Based Plug-in for Benchmarking Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics Computer Codes with Failure Event Data” (PVP2009-77974). In that paper, which was co-authored by Fong, deWit, Marcal, Filliben, Heckert, and Gosselin, we designed a probability-uncertainty plug-in to automate the estimation of leakage probability with uncertainty bounds due to variability in a large number of factors. The estimation algorithm was based on a two-level full or fractional factorial design of experiments such that the total number of simulations will be small as compared to a Monte-Carlo method. This feature is attractive if the simulations were based on finite element analysis with a large number of nodes and elements. In this paper, we go one step further to derive a risk-uncertainty formula by computing separately the probability-uncertainty and the consequence-uncertainty of a given failure event, and then using the classical theory of error propagation to compute the risk-uncertainty within the domain of validity of that theory. The estimation of the consequence-uncertainty is accomplished by using a public-domain software package entitled “Cost-Effectiveness Tool for Capital Asset Protection, version 4.0, 2008” (http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/ or NIST Report NISTIR-7524 ), and is more fully described in a companion paper entitled “An Economics-based Intelligence (EI) Tool for Pressure Vessels & Piping (PVP) Failure Consequence Estimation,” (PVP2010-25226, Session MF-23.4 of this conference). A numerical example of an application of the risk-uncertainty formula using a 16-year historical database of probability and consequence of main steam and hot reheat piping systems is presented. Implication of this risk-uncertainty estimation tool to the design of a risk-informed in-service inspection program is discussed.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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