Treatment of Design and Construction Errors in PRA

by M. K. Ravindra, Structural Mechanics Associates Inc, Newport Beach, CA, USA,
R. D. Campbell, Structural Mechanics Associates Inc, Newport Beach, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Nuclear Facilities


The risk estimates developed in a PRA should allow for potential design and construction errors. These errors generally modify the component responses and fragilities. Since most design and construction errors are 'systematic', they simultaneously affect a large number of systems and structures and negate the possible benefits of redundancy. Errors are broadly classified as gross and minor errors. Minor errors are normally accounted for in design practice through tolerances and safety margins. It is the gross errors that may have a significant effect on PRA results and as such deserve careful investigation. Since it is impractical to review and inspect all systems and structures in a nuclear power plant for potential design and construction errors, a scheme for selecting the areas for review is needed. Based on the results of published PRA studies, critical systems and structures in the plant may be identified. Sensitivity studies of the effect of errors on the performance and safety of the nuclear plant systems may guide one to the potentially significant errors and help channel the resources for review and testing.

Subject Headings: Structural systems | Construction management | Sensitivity analysis | Power plants | Errors (statistics) | Risk management | Nuclear safety | Probability

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