Basic design requirements for Independent Core Cooling in Swedish nuclear power reactors

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1 Memorandum Date: 9 October 2014 Ref. no: SSM Document no: SSM Issued by: Tomas Jelinek Approved by: Michael Knochenhauer Basic design requirements for Independent Core Cooling in Swedish nuclear power reactors Summary This memorandum describes the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority s (SSM) view on basic design requirements for systems with capacity for Independent Core Cooling in Swedish nuclear power plants. The objective of the systems is to reduce the risk of core melt in situations where the reactors are subjected to extreme external loads and where the normal core cooling systems have failed. SSM s analysis is based on the results from stress tests and previous investigations of Independent Core Cooling. SSM is of the view that all reactors in Sweden need to implement a function for Independent Core Cooling no later than Reactors that the licensee intends to continue operating over the long term, that is, considerably longer than 2020, need to implement by 2020 a system for Independent Core Cooling. The system should be designed so that it fully meets the design requirements stated in this memorandum. Objectives and scope This memorandum briefly describes design requirements viewed by SSM as necessary in order to define the properties for Independent Core Cooling. These include design basis events, safety classification, residual heat removal, diversification, etc. The objectives of this memorandum include providing input for the Authority s future decision on the implementation of systems for Independent Core Cooling at Swedish reactors as well as serving as input for the investigations that the relevant licensees are required to conduct into financial implications and other consequences. Background The need to increase the reliability of core cooling in a nuclear power reactor by introducing an independent function was brought up already when drafting the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate s (SKI) regulation SKIFS 2004:2 in the early 2000s. This regulation corresponds to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority s present regulations (SSMFS 2008:17) concerning the design and construction of nuclear power reactors. The Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten Swedish Radiation Safety Authority SE Stockholm Tel: Solna strandväg 96 Fax: Web:

2 objective of the system was to, during a severe accident (Swedish event class H5) total loss of all non-battery-backed emergency systems (SBO) add water over a 24 hour period to the reactor pressure vessel by connecting a water reservoir located outside of the reactor containment. The pumping of water would have to be activated independently of the reactor protection system, and also require a separate power supply. For this reason, an early draft version of the proposed new regulation SKIFS 2004:2 contained the following proposal: In order to reduce the risk of core melt and reactor pressure vessel melt-through, it should be possible to add water to the reactor pressure vessel by connecting an independent water reservoir located outside of the reactor containment. Activation of pumping should be possible independently of the reactor protection system, and the system should also have a separate power supply. The knowledge base, especially regarding potential negative effects of introducing this kind of function, was judged as insufficient for deciding on a regulation at that stage. SKI therefore came to the conclusion that further investigation was necessary. This further investigation was finalised in March The need for Independent Core Cooling received further attention after the Forsmark 1 event on 25 July , as well as after the serious accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. After the Fukushima accident, the European Council required at the end of March 2011 that stress tests were to be performed at all operating nuclear power plants in Europe. The Swedish national action plan to the EU 3 is part of these stress tests and it was developed with a view to dealing with weaknesses identified during the stress tests. Two issues dealing with Independent Core Cooling are described in the action plan: T3.LA.2 4 and T2.LA.2 5. According to the action plan, analyses/investigations of the issues shall be finalised by the end of 2013 regarding T3.LA.2, and in late 2015 regarding T2.LA.2. This memorandum describes basic design requirements that may be relevant when designing and constructing the Independent Core Cooling. Analysis of basic design requirements The below is a discussion and analysis of the basic design requirements which are viewed by SSM as a necessary basis for the design of a system for Independent Core Cooling. Additional requirements will be identified as part of the licensees ongoing work to produce more detailed design solutions. Design basis events The primary objective of Independent Core Cooling is to prevent the reactor core from melting and thus keeping a coolable core geometry. This belongs to defence in depth level 3 according to the WENRA countries common view on the structure of defence in depth. 6 The reason for choosing defence in depth level 3 is that major uncertainties in analyses of core melt sequence make it difficult to verify when and how vessel melt-through takes place, which would be the case if the Independent Core Cooling were set at defence in depth level 4. Setting the Independent Core Cooling at defence in depth level 3 also means 1 Investigation of Independent Core Cooling systems for reducing the risk of core melt and vessel melt-through in Swedish reactors, W. Frid, 16 March 2009, SSM 2008/ IRS no Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Swedish action plan for nuclear power plants, Response to ENSREG s request, 29 December T3.LA.2 Define the design basis for an Independent Core Cooling system 5 T2.LA.2 Define design basis for alternate cooling and alternate residual heat removal 6 WENRA s reference level 2 for Issue E, Design Basis Envelope for Existing Reactors

3 that there is a more natural connection to the new design extension conditions stated below, against which the resilience must be strengthened according to the national action plan for the stress tests: Extended loss of AC power (ELAP) for at least 72 hours Loss of normal access to ultimate heat sink (LUHS) prolonged for at least 72 hours When evaluating the plants present resilience against the postulated events, particular emphasis needs to be placed on the risk of simultaneous failure of the entire normal core cooling function. The risk analysis needs to take into account physical separation, independence, as well as individual components resilience against extreme external loads, also against identified cliff-edge effects that could lead to the conditions implied by the postulated events. The design basis events need not be combined with other independent initiating events. However, any other events that are the result of this kind of initiating event, e.g. pump seal leakage in the present primary system in pressurised water reactors, need to be taken into account in the analyses. The extreme external loads that need to be taken into account for Independent Core Cooling constitute all external loads that could affect the core cooling at the plant. These scenarios need to be identified, including any potential interdependencies. External loads that cannot constitute a physical threat to the plant or which are estimated to be extremely unlikely can be excluded. On the other hand, external events which in combination with other risks have the potential to constitute a threat to the plant cannot be excluded. For all events that cannot be excluded, risk assessments need to be performed using deterministic and probabilistic analyses. When assessing the risks, site-specific data and impacts should be applied. Events and their impact on the plants need to be taken into account if the frequency is estimated at 10-6 per year or higher. External load that may involve cliff-edge effects (for example, external flooding) needs to be given particular consideration. The frequency 10-6 per year or higher has been selected considering the fact that existing safety functions are designed for external loads that are more frequent than 10-5 per year. Should the plant come into a situation requiring Independent Core Cooling, a probable scenario would then be an external load with such severity that the normal safety functions have not been able to handle the event. As a consequence of the above, the Independent Core Cooling function should be verified for a significantly lower frequency than 10-5 per year, that is, 10-6 per year or lower. This implies verifying the Independent Core Cooling system for higher snow loads, stronger winds, higher water levels, etc. than were applied for existing safety systems. ELAP or LUHS in combination with extreme external loads needs to be evaluated for all operational states. Furthermore, the acceptance criteria in design basis events (Swedish event class H4) should be applied with regard to fuel integrity and radiological impact on the environment, as the objective of Independent Core Cooling is to maintain a coolable core geometry. The minimum duration of the ELAP and LUHS events must match the minimum length of time needed to take necessary actions to counter the impact of these events during extreme external loads. Consequently, the shortest period of time that can be applied in the design requirements for ELAP and LUHS when designing the Independent Core Cooling is 72 hours. Independent Core Cooling should also meet WENRA s updated 2014 reference level, 4.7 for Issue F, Design Extension of Existing Reactors:

4 F4.7 There shall be sufficient independent and diverse means including necessary power supplies available to remove the residual heat from the core and the spent fuel. At least one of these means shall be effective after events involving external hazards more severe than design basis events. Specific requirements for residual heat removal The system for filtered containment venting may be credited for residual heat removal in the design of the Independent Core Cooling, provided it is demonstrated that the system can still fulfil its task (filtering of radioactive releases) in an H5 event (core melt-down) without being affected. However, the basic principles stated below and the advantages of implementing a new residual heat removal system need to be assessed and compared on a case-by-case basis with the potential negative aspects that the modifications may imply: The levels of defence in depth should be independent. For this reason, design solutions for residual heat removal should primarily be implemented in a way that allows the filters the last layer of protection against large discharges due to a serious accident to remain dedicated to defence in depth level 4. Introducing new independent residual heat removal implies a further reduction of risk. Should an accident occur, all systems available should of course be used, regardless of the design solution selected, including systems that have not been credited in the safety analyses. The licensee will need to demonstrate how the plant, through application of the proposed design solution, can be brought to cold shutdown state with an intact containment within a reasonable period of time. Safety classification In the view of SSM, based on a functional classification perspective, the Independent Core Cooling should be categorized in a specific safety class. Based on this, additional equipment for Independent Core Cooling should be subject to requirements on quality assurance and operability that, to an acceptable degree, ensure that the equipment can perform the required function during the extreme external load expected to prevail when the equipment is credited. Separation and diversification Independent Core Cooling needs to be functionally and physically separated in terms of impact on systems and components used on the other levels of the defence in depth, as well as in relation to existing systems and components on the level of defence in depth that needs to be reinforced concerning water reservoir, power supply, instrumentation, control systems and isolation valves. Where no suitable pre-existing and available containment penetrations can be utilised and equipped with their own physically separated isolation valves, existing valves must as a minimum be functionally separated with regard to control and power supply in relation to existing systems and components on the level of defence in depth that is being strengthened. Exceptions can be made for separation against the diversified parts of the safety function. This exception implies that the Independent Core Cooling in the future can be a subset in the fulfilment of the diversification requirements according to Section 10 of SSMFS 2008:17 for the safety functions of emergency core cooling and residual heat removal.

5 Redundancy It is not necessary to assume single failure along with the dimensioning events. The Independent Core Cooling function is viewed as a supplement and reinforcement in relation to existing systems and components in defence in depth level 3. Simplicity in functional design SSM is of the view that simplicity should be the aim in the functional design. This implies a lower probability of faults being built in or introduced in connection with maintenance or redesign. A straightforward system is also easier to manage and should consequently be simpler to keep in operation or restart during extreme external loads. Manual and automatic initiation/operation/control It should be possible to start the Independent Core Cooling and monitor it close to the executing equipment/locally and from the main control room. Manual initiation also needs to be possible in the direct vicinity of components, i.e. local manoeuvrability on pumps, isolation valves, etc. is part of the proposed design requirements. Manual activation and operation of the Independent Core Cooling should be ready for operation using simple equipment during an extreme external load. Manual initiation of all manoeuvrable components in the Independent Core Cooling is part of the proposed design requirements in order to ensure the independence to the extent possible. Providing for automatic initiation is not necessary if the acceptance criteria can be met allowing for reasonable time for consideration during an extreme external load. In the view of SSM, simplicity should be one of the objectives; for example, control in the form of complicated electronics or sequential control should be avoided. Information on process parameters needed by the operators to understand the situation and to initiate and operate the system should be as straightforward as possible and independent of information that is normally available. Equipment credited during extreme external loads One design requirement that should be applied is not allowing for the use of heavy external equipment until after 72 hours at the earliest. If heavy external equipment is credited after 72 hours, it should be demonstrated by the licensee as being available and capable of being transported and connected during extreme external loads. Mobile equipment set up onsite in advance may be credited no earlier than after 8 hours if it can be demonstrated as being available and functional in connection with extreme external loads. If existing equipment is credited after 72 hours, the licensee will need to demonstrate that the equipment is likely to be operable during extreme external loads. This applies to the entire chain of credited equipment and related procedures. For instance, in order to credit the onsite grid after 72 hours, it must be demonstrated that it is available in connection with extreme external loads. Safety margins The system needs to be dimensioned allowing for adequate safety margins in its design since the extent and nature of the extreme external load that the system must be capable of withstanding are subject to considerable uncertainties.

6 Requirements imposed on physical protection A number of key prerequisites for a response force, for example armed guards and their chain of command, are currently being investigated by the Ministry of the Environment. In the autumn of 2013, an updated design basis threat was approved defining the malicious acts the plants must be capable of withstanding. Based on the design basis threat in addition to other potential protective measures, the licensees have the possibility of designing the Independent Core Cooling together with the physical protection of the rest of the plant in a way so that the requirements imposed under the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority s regulations (SSMFS 2008:12) concerning physical protection in nuclear facilities are fulfilled. For the parts of the Independent Core Cooling function with the task of providing for residual heat removal, different design assumptions with regard to physical protection may be acceptable provided that the time aspect enables crediting of external physical protection. Transitional measures Due to the complexity of the system to be implemented, SSM is planning to impose a requirement on a system being in place by 2020 for Independent Core Cooling having a design that fully meets the proposed design requirements stated in this memorandum. SSM is also planning to require by 2017 implementation of compensatory measures implying that an independent water source and independent power supply together contribute to establishing a system for Independent Core Cooling. The licensee may choose to apply this transitional solution in part or in its entirety as a component of the final design. The transitional solution may be applied during the remaining period of operation to reactors that the licensees only intend to operate for a limited period of time after For any plant that is operated after 2020 without implementing a system for Independent Core Cooling meeting the proposed design requirements contained in this memorandum, the Authority will impose as a condition that the licensee must decide to shut down the plant within a reasonable period of time after SSM s future decision On the basis of this memorandum and a consequence assessment, SSM is planning to make a decision on the implementation of Independent Core Cooling. In connection with this decision, SSM will also provide guidance for the licensee analyses of the capability of a potential response force to withstand antagonistic threats, including assumptions on antagonists possible entry and use of explosives in the plant, particularly on the Independent Core Cooling.

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