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Stress Testing: Technical Design Assurance

RB Safety provided an independent technical assessment of the reactor plant and supporting systems using a combination of expert knowledge of existing reactor plant design, operation and upkeep and a comprehensive understanding of reactor plant design principles. Our contribution to design assessment phases resulted in the implementation of design enhancements that were regarded to deliver significant benefits to safety, operability and through life upkeep.

In the wake of events at Fukushima, RB Safety Consultants Ltd developed a Code of Practice and conducted ‘Stress Tests’ which aligned with principles of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) specification and was consequently adopted as Best Practice by the Reactor Plant Licensee. The development of scenarios and facilitation of expert reviews evaluated the susceptibility of the project to beyond Design Basis Events, including multiple and complex accident sequences. The development of bespoke models enabled the effects of degraded system performance to be measured and any ‘cliff edge’ events to be identified. Our assessment was a key factor in providing design assurance and our considerations were regarded to improvement resilience to extreme accident sequences and deliver improved safety margins throughout the design concept.

A range of discrete activities carried out by RB Safety were critical to the design assurance, including:

  • Providing a decomposition of the Customer’s key user requirements into detailed design objectives to enable design engineers to develop an accurate interpretation of the design requirements.

  • Developing supporting arguments and work-streams to resolve a wide range of issues and underpin a the design operating philosophy and deliver substantial and operability through life benefits.

  • A campaign for system simplification, by challenging legacy standards and design assumptions from first principles to relieve build, operational and maintenance challenges.

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