Nuclear Power Accidents and Incidents: Lessons for PRA
Abstract: Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) oriented reviews of historical operational events can help identify potential failure mechanisms and scenarios where improved approaches can increase analysis realism. This seminar provides a quick overview of past nuclear power plant accidents and incidents; discusses how the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) uses operational experience data in its regulatory processes; presents the results of a number of small-scale text mining exercises aimed at generating qualitative insights relevant to the development and use of PRA methods, models, tools, and data; and concludes with a few remarks for PRA researchers and developers. The slide package for this seminar also includes supplementary material on: a) recent trends at the NRC regarding the use of risk information, b) example uses of such information supporting various regulatory functions, c) past reactor accidents and notable incidents, and d) some interesting failure mechanisms and scenarios observed in actual events.
Bio: Nathan Siu is a Senior Technical Adviser for Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) in the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. His current duties include providing PRA-related advice and support on a broad range of topics, including research and development regarding PRA methods, models, tools, and data. Prior to joining NRC in 1997, he was on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory staff, the Nuclear Engineering Department faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the staff of Pickard, Lowe, and Garrick, Inc. He is a former Chair of the OECD/NEA Working Group on Risk Assessment and is an ANS Fellow. He received his B.S. (Energy Conversion and Utilization), M.S. (Nuclear Science and Engineering), and Ph.D. (Nuclear Science and Engineering) from the University of California, Los Angeles.