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Features, Limitations and Uncertainties in Enclosure Fire Hazard Analyses: Preliminary Review.


pdf icon Features, Limitations and Uncertainties in Enclosure Fire Hazard Analyses: Preliminary Review. (2676 K)
Mowrer, F. W.; Stroup, D. W.

NISTIR 6152; 29 p. March 1998.

Sponsor:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC

Available from:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
Telephone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900; Rush Service (Telephone Orders Only) 800-553-6847;
Website: http://www.ntis.gov
Order number: PB98-144546

Keywords:

fire hazards assessment; hazard assessment; compartment fires; computational fluid dynamics; predictive models; field models; fire models; hazard assessment; nuclear power plants; nuclear reactor safety; zone models

Abstract:

A significant number of fire modeling tools have been developed to analyze the hazards and risks associated with fires in buildings. These tools range from empirical correlations of data suitable for hand calculations, through control volume (zone) models of increasing sophistication, to state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (field) models. Properly applied, these tools permit development of a better understanding of the dynamics of building fires and can aid in the fire safety decision-making process. This report presents a review of three fire modeling tools (FIVE, COMPBRN III, CFAST) currently being used in fire safety design and a fourth model (LES) of the field model type which is beginning to be used in fire protection engineering. This review focuses on the application potential for these models in the nuclear power industry. In view of the uncertainties associated with fire modeling predictions, extreme care must be excerised in the interpretation of fire modeling results. For scenarios where the level of predicted hazard is well below the damage threshold, the results can be used with a high level of confidence provided there is a high level of confidence that all risk-significant scenarios have been considered. For scenarios where the level of predicted hazard is near the damage threshold, the results should be used with caution in view of the uncertainties that exist. In order to address some of the uncertainties in fire modeling, a multi-level approach is proposed which combines professional judgment, correlations, zone models and field models.