Our research proposal, “A Methodology of Risk Assessment, Management and Coping Actions for Nuclear Power Plant Hit by High Explosive Warheads”, which has been submitted to the The Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources (public tender 14/4) has been accepted by the Ministry chief scientist and approved for funding.
The proposed research is carried out in close collaboration with researchers from the Department of Structural Engineering at BGU, and will be granted 670,000 NIS for a period of three years.
Following is the proposal abstract:
Nuclear power plant (NPP) that could be built in Israel is a strategic facility, whose destruction due to terrorist attacks and war can cause serious damage and might, besides the disruption of the supply of vital energy, harm the well-being of the public and the environment. This course is unacceptable and the proposed research will examine the coping strategies required to mitigate these threats which will allow safe use of NPP. The proposed research will focus on the NPP AP-1000 manufactured by Westinghouse company. NPP is not inherently protected against attacks by rockets, shells and guided bombs (defined Explosive Warheads – EWH). Since Israel is exposed to a unique risk of NPP EWH (such as GBU28 and Fajer 5) attacks, two basic scenarios are defined: The first scenario – one or more heavy rocket (Fajer 5) explosion adjacent to the NPP buildings or its systems might cause a system failure due to the blast and shock waves, fragments, debris, and collapse. The second scenario – a direct hit and interior explosion of a guided bomb type GBU28 in the reactor containment building. The extreme event that may occur in both scenarios is the loss of residual heat removal capability from the reactor core, melting of the nuclear fuel rods in the reactor core (core melt down), permanent shutdown of the NPP, and leakage of fission products and radioactive materials into the atmosphere. The research will examine the vulnerability, risk, and safety measures available and required of the NPP examined under these scenarios, and will refer to their implications, identify weaknesses and recommend possible deployment, to prevent or reduce to a minimum the risks. A methodology for risk analysis, assessment, and management will be developed, mitigation and absorption techniques such as redundancy, robustness, and resilience will be examined. The research is composed of the following stages: Definition of basic events resulting from the above defined scenarios, vulnerability analysis and modeling of the resultant failure development using Event-Tree-Analysis, Fault–Tree-Analysis and quantification of the probability of failure events such as Loss of Coolant Accident and – Loss of Flow Accident, while analyzing the implications of these events. Sensitivity Analyses of the models to variations in the reliability of the various components will allow to identify the critical components performance with reference to the operation and the safety of the reactor such as a the core emergency shutdown system and the Emergency Core Cooling Systems.