EPM, Inc.

EPM Inc.
Framingham, MA
Raleigh, NC

+1 508-875-2121

NFPA 805

The NFPA 805 standard provides the methodology to transition from an existing deterministic safe shutdown analysis to the alternate rule, 10 CFR 50.48(c).” The new rule is a risk-informed, performance-based approach to address fire protection and fire-induced safe shutdown for light water reactors and provides more flexibility for a utility to meet fire protection requirements. EPM is a principal member of the NFPA 805 committee and has made substantial contributions to the development of the standard.

As a multi-disciplined firm with vast experience in nuclear power plant fire protection and NFPA 805 implementation, EPM can perform or support all facets of a program transition, including but not limited to fundamental fire protection program reviews, nuclear safety capability assessments (during both operational and non-operational plant modes (NPO)), assessment of radioactive release due to fire suppression activities, engineering evaluation development, probabilistic risk assessment, and licensing transition report development.

EPM utilized a performance-based approach to address the fire protection requirements for several Canadian (CANDU) plants and is confident that U.S. plants will greatly benefit from adopting the new rule. Although the transition to NFPA 805 will require an initial investment, it appears from our experience that the transition process will very likely reap substantial immediate cost benefits related to manual action issues. It should also be considered that with a performance-based program in place, the cost savings will increase over time in that the transition to NFPA 805 will establish a vehicle to address any future industry issues in a more cost-effective manner.

EPM has developed a tool for data management and development of many data-rich portions of an NFPA 805 Transition Report. This tool, Transition Document Access Code (TDAC), has been used by several nuclear utilities, and its outputs have been reviewed and accepted by the NRC as acceptable License Amendment Request attachments.

For further information on NFPA 805, including EPM’s success stories and EPM’s TDAC tool, contact Tom Jutras, Vice President – Fire Protection and Risk Services at 508-532-7136 or thj@epm-inc.com.

Safe Shutdown/Appendix R Analysis

EPM has been providing Appendix R/safe shutdown-related engineering services since it was established in 1980. EPM has performed Appendix R review and reanalysis of safe shutdown capabilities for one-third of all U.S. nuclear power plants and for all but four units in Canada. As a result, over 400 exemption requests have been written in the U.S. Of these 400 exemption requests, over 90% were approved.

Given our extensive experience in this area, EPM pioneered a risk-informed/performance-based methodology for safe shutdown and fire hazards analyses when we were tasked with the challenge of addressing these issues for nuclear power plants in Canada. Based on our experience with U.S. plants and the requirements of 10 CFR 50 Appendix R, EPM knew that prescriptive methods would not be practical due to significant lack of separation and physical barriers. As such, we decided to use the techniques that were being developed in NFPA 805 and apply them to the CANDU reactors. EPM’s methodology is centered on identification of an analysis of realistic fire scenarios rather than postulating an “all-consuming fire.” EPM’s approach is based on recognized industry methods and techniques for risk assessment and simplified fire modeling.

EPM has performed fire safe shutdown analyses for a variety of reactor types including BWR, PWR, CANDU, SVVR, and RBMK reactors.

Software (Safe Shutdown Analysis): SAFE

SAFE (System Assurance & Fire Protection Engineering) is an engineering software tool that automates and maintains a nuclear power plant’s 10 CFR 50 Appendix R Safe Shutdown Analysis. SAFE allows an engineer to determine the effects of a fire — in any fire area, fire zone, building, room, or any other space suitable for the analysis — on the ability to safely shut down the plant.

Utilities are taking major steps towards internally computerizing a variety of analyses in place of maintaining large quantities of paper that is soon out-of-date. SAFE is one component of EPM’s GENESIS Solution Suite® which is designed to effectively support nuclear power plants with 10 CFR 50 Appendix R compliance and to model and analyze other program assessments that are location driven (such as Environmental Qualification, Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), IPEEE FIVE, etc.) SAFE supports all of today’s analysis requirements and presents information on an as-required basis and in a manner praised by the regulator.

For further information about SAFE: