Integrated Facility Assessment Simulation, 20-R9728

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Principal Investigators
George R. Adams
Robert L. Rogers
Fernando J. Ferrante

Inclusive Dates:  07/01/07 – Current

Background - High-risk facility operations are traditionally evaluated in terms of individual event scenarios that are assumed to occur independently. The data used in such evaluations are usually aggregated composites of the industry experience for a particular operation or equipment failure. Developing event scenarios and evaluating them with these traditional techniques does not necessarily fully capture human operations, human behavioral differences, human-machine interactions, facility configurations, or timing issues specific to a particular facility. An integrated facility assessment approach that does incorporate these elements is expected to provide a better risk assessment of a complex system or facility and would therefore enhance currently available techniques.

Approach - The primary purpose of this research is to investigate the feasibility of using an integrated facility assessment (IFA) simulation approach to assess the performance and reliability of high risk facilities and to identify facility failures, particularly those leading to catastrophic consequences. Operations within a generic facility will be simulated using a number of modular, interacting components along with a predetermined number of human operators. Experiments will be conducted comparing numerical output from simulation runs against output produced using traditional techniques in which fault tree and event tree models are developed. The outcome of the experiments will be analyzed, and an overall assessment of the proposed IFA simulation technique will be performed.

Accomplishments - A literature review was conducted on facilities handling nuclear materials from which relevant details of operations and equipment were derived. From this review, a few critical operations in a generic facility were selected and their frequencies and durations are being analyzed. Safety assessment of the generic facility is currently being performed to identify hazards and develop fault tree/event tree models for the higher risk scenarios (i.e., scenarios involving exposure of workers to radioactive particulates or high radiation levels). Reliability information is being collected for the equipment and components assumed to be used in this facility. In addition, a preliminary simulation design has begun that considers the facility operations, equipment, and performance data developed through the literature review. This simulation model of the facility will continue in coordination with the fault tree/event tree model development.

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