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Augmenting Probabilistic Risk Assessment With Malevolent Initiators

[+] Author Affiliations
Curtis Smith, David Schwieder, Trond Bjornard

Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Paper No. IMECE2011-62556, pp. 489-498; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Transportation Systems; Safety Engineering, Risk Analysis and Reliability Methods; Applied Stochastic Optimization, Uncertainty and Probability
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5495-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


As commonly practiced, the use of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) in nuclear power plants only considers accident initiators such as natural hazards, equipment failures, and human error. Malevolent initiators are ignored in PRA, but are considered the domain of physical security, which uses vulnerability assessment based on an officially specified threat (design basis threat). This work explores the implications of augmenting and extending existing PRA models by considering new and modified scenarios resulting from malevolent initiators. Teaming the augmented PRA models with conventional vulnerability assessments can cost-effectively enhance security of a nuclear power plant. This methodology is useful for operating plants, as well as in the design of new plants. For the methodology, we have proposed an approach that builds on and extends the practice of PRA for nuclear power plants for security-related issues. Rather than only considering “random” failures, we demonstrated a framework that is able to represent and model malevolent initiating events and associated plant impacts.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Risk assessment



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