Nuclear Techniques ›› 2014, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (08): 80602-080602.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2014.hjs.37.080602

• NUCLEAR ENERGY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Study on the accident classification method and acceptance criteria of reprocessing facility

LYU Dan1 LI Ruirou2 SONG Fengli1 WANG Shijun1 ZHANG Yue1   

  1. 1(Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center, Ministry of Environment Protection, Beijing 100082, China) 2(China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. Ltd., China National Nuclear Corporation, Beijing 100840, China)
  • Received:2014-04-03 Revised:2014-05-02 Online:2014-08-10 Published:2014-07-22

Abstract: Background: The accident classification method and acceptance criteria of spent fuel reprocessing facility used in China come from the regulatory requirements and the engineering experience of the USA about 40 years ago. Nowadays, these engineering projects have not been in operation, and part of former regulatory requirements have been withdrawn and replaced by newly issued documents. Purpose: Through comparison of the current regulatory requirements and previous engineering experience on the accident classification method and acceptance criteria of spent reprocessing facility in the USA, we aimed to offer some suggestions or advice for the development of accident analysis method ology in China. Methods: Investigation of the current regulatory requirements of the accident classification method and acceptance criteria for spent fuel reprocessing facility in the USA was carried out, and their comparison with the previous engineering practice was implemented. Results: On the basis of the historical engineering experience, the current regulatory requirements have introduced the risk assessment method into the accident classification and acceptance judgment. The current regulations require the license applicants to identify the hazards of concern through hazard risk analysis of the whole facility, and further, to assess both the likelihood of occurrence and the consequence of accidents by risk matrix. The marginal accidents in the whole accident scope consist of not only the design basis accidents, which were usually discussed as the accident margin for accident analysis in historical engineering experience, but also the incidents with low-level consequence but high-level likelihood of occurrence. The risk boundary in the risk matrix serves as the accident acceptance criteria; while in the historical engineering experience, the accident acceptance criteria only focused on the limit of individual total radiation dose on the boundary of the exclusion area. Conclusion: The current regulatory requirements of the accident classification method and acceptance criteria for spent fuel reprocessing facility in the USA have made a remarkable development from previous engineering experience. These requirements include the evaluation of effectiveness of engineering measures, and the assessment of the safety balance of the facility design, which might be a good reference for future development of accident analysis methodology in China.

Key words: Spent fuel reprocessing, Accident classification method, Accident acceptance criteria