Energy and Power Engineering, 2013, 5, 264-268
doi:10.4236/epe.2013.54B051 Published Online July 2013 (
Fault Tree Reliability Analysis for Passive Medium
Pressure Safety Injection System in Nuclear Power Plant
Lengshan Leng, Yun Liu
School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Received April, 2013
Modern nuclear power plants, both newly designed generation 3 and existing generation 2 reactors, make use of passive
safety systems for significant and measurable improvements in safety and reliability. Medium Pressure Safety Injection
System (MP-SIS) in Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant is a typical and very important nuclear safety passive system. This
paper discusses the reliability of MP-SIS on the basis of Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) with unavailability and Minimal
Cut Set (MCS) calculated as two important indicators. The result illustrates that the passive MP-Safety Injection Tank
barely contributes to the system’s unavailability and human interactions with Manual Valves and Motor Operated
Valves have great negative impact on the reliability.
Keywords: Passive Safety System; MP-SIS; FTA; Unavailability; MCS
1. Introduction
The experts of nuclear power industry conclude that the
Passive Safety System makes related safety functions
less dependent on operator and that external energy sup-
ply is potentially more reliable than active system. Be-
cause of its simplicity, reduced human interaction and
hardware failure [1, 2], Passive Safety System has been
mainly designed in the new generation 3 nuclear power
plant under construction. Nevertheless, Passive Safety
System is also installed in the existing generation 2 nu-
clear power plant in use.
Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant, the two 1000MW PWRs
(Pressurized Water Reactors) generation 2+ nuclear
power plant in China, is equipped with High, Medium
and Low pressure safety injection systems separately to
ensure that injecting of boric acid will co ol an d sub merge
the reactor core when the average temperature and pres-
sure of primary loop reduce, a phenomenon caused by a
LOCA (Loss Of Coolant Accident) in primary loop or a
MSLB (Main Steam Line Break) in secondary loop. The
Medium Pressure Safety Injection System (MP-SIS) in-
stalled inside is a typical passive safety system. Without
any active pump, the system is put into operation when
pressure difference between safety injection tank and
core reaches below certain value during the accident.
From this perspective, the passive MP-SIS safety as-
sessment and reliability analysis becomes necessary and
important both for operation of existing plant and design
of new gen era tion nucl e ar power pla nt .
The present paper aims to adopt the FTA (Fault Tree
Analysis) reliability analysis method [2] to build a FT
(Fault Tree) with MP-SIS failure as the Top Event so as
to obtain its unavailability and MCSs. The quantitative
calculation is made according to commonly estimated
and accepted data due to the fact that some of the possi-
bility data in this paper haven’t been released before [3,
2. Description of MP-SIS
The medium pressure safety injection system, MP-SIS
(tag named JNG-2) in the 1000 MW PWR nuclear power
plant operates when the primary loop leaks and the cool-
ant pressure drops to 5.9 MPa. The MP-SIS injects water
with boric acid of 16 g/kg into the primary loop to con-
trol the core into a sub-critical state and make it cooled
down. The system consists of four series (Series JNG50,
JNG60, JNG70, and JNG80) which are independent and
physic-cally isolated from each other. Each series in-
cludes the following components and pipelines [5]. The
Pipe and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) of Series
JNG50 is shown in Figure 1.
MP-Safety Injection Tank: Reception and storage of
boric acid solution.
Safety Valves Groups: Prevent Injection Tank from
Nitrogen Inflation Pipeline: Inflating nitrogen gas
from High-pressure Nitrogen System (tag named KRJ) to
Injection Tank.
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L. S. LENG, Y. LIU 265
Safety Values Groups
Check Valves’ Bypass Pipeline
Figure 1. P & ID of MP-SIS (Series JNG50).
Nitrogen Exhausting Pipeline: Exhausting nitrogen
gas from Injection Tank to Exhaust System (tag named
Drainage and Hydrophobic Pipelines: Pipelines
connecting Injection Tank with Volume and Boron Con-
trol Systems (tag named KBJ).
Injection Pipeline: Connecting Injection Tank with
Check Valves’ Bypass Pipelines: Inspection of the
Check Valves’ tightness and heating the Check Valves
nearby pipelines when the system operates.
3. Top Event and Basic Assumptions
Functional failure of JNG-2 system is chosen as the Top
Event to build a FT for MP-SIS. Some ba sic assumptions
are listed as below:
The MP-SIS studied in this paper includes all the
valves and pipelines. The events of those components
which aren’t involved in the system are treated as Unex-
panded Events.
Support systems such as KRJ, KTB and KBA are
assumed to operate normally.
It is assumed that the system would be put into op-
eration under LOCA condition; thus the injection func-
tion would be achi e ve d wi t h ei t her one of t h e fou r seri es.
The fault state of common components, except for
some large scale equipment and important valves, is set
as Unknown Event which is treated as Basic Event.
All the components are assumed to have only two
states: failure or normal, without taking intermediate
state into consideration .
4. Fault Tree Building
Functional failure of JNG-2 system is directly caused by
the case that the four series are all fail. As all of the four
series are identical and independent from each other,
only functional failure of Series JNG50 is analyzed in
detail in the pape r.
Start signal (called Signal BB11) failure and MP-SIS
functional failure can directly cause the functional failure
of Series JNG50, and both of the two events are con-
nected to the previous event with an OR-Gate, where the
first event is handled as an Unexpanded Event.
MP-Safety Injection System is expected to direct inject
when LOCA happened because of its passiveness, there-
fore drainag e and pressuri zation should b e pre-completed
in a water-pressure test. Thus fundamental fault for the
functional failure of Series JNG50 is that the pressure of
nitrogen gas fails to in ject the co olan t into Injectio n Tank.
The direct causes are the follow two events: Failure of
drainage and pressurization or Failure of MP-SIS.
The first event can be connected to three failure events
with an OR-Gate, namely,
Failure of Injection Tank JNG50BB001
Failure of Drainage Pipelines
Failure of Nitrogen Inflation Pipeline.
The operation of MP-SIS will break when pressure in
Injection Tank drops to lower than 1.15 MPa or the wa-
ter-level drops to 1.7 m. Therefore MP-SIS will fail when
any of the following four events happens:
Failure of Injection Pipeline;
Failure of C heck Valves’ Bypass P ipeline;
Failure of Exhausting Pipeline;
Failure of Hydrophobic Pipeline.
The concerned FT is shown in F igure 2.
Figure 2. FT for functional failure of Series JNG50.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
4.1. FT for MP-Safety Injection Tank
The fault state of MP-Safety Injection Tank JNG50BP-
001 belongs to Component Fault, where JNG50BP001’s
improper installation, the Primary Fault, is treated as a
Basic Event; JNG50BP001’s break, the Secondary Fault,
is connected to JNG50BP001’s overpressure and Failure
of Safety Valves Groups with an AND-Gate.
JNG50BP001’s overpressure is a System Fault, with
Pressure measurement fault and Wrong pressure signal as
the Direct Causes. Pressure measurement fault is con-
nected to Pressure-device’s fault and Signal transmis-
sion’s fault, and both are treated as Basic Events.
Safety Valves Groups include two groups: Monitor
Group with JNG50AA410 series connecting with JNG-
50AA411 and Running Group with Check Valve JNG-
50AA420 series conn ecting with JNG50AA42 1. The two
groups’ both failing can lead to Failure of Safety Valves
From the above, FT for Failure of Injection Tank is
built as shown in Figure 3.
4.2. FT for Nitrogen Inflation Pipeline
The pipeline is installed with a Motor Operated Valve
KRJ11AA103, which keeps opening during the pressuri-
zation process until the pressure in Injection Tank reach-
es 5.9MPa. Therefore, Failure of Nitrogen Inflation Pipe-
line equals to Failure of Motor Operated Valve
Figure 3. FT for injection tank.
4.3. FT for Hydrophobic Pipeline
Motor Operated Valves KBA93AA101 and KBA93AA-
102 are installed in series in the pipeline. As KBA Sys-
tem is considered as success, either of the valves’ failure
will cause Failure of Hydrophobic Pipeline.
4.4. FT for Injection Pipeline
Motor Operated Valves JNG50AA101 and JNG50AA-
102 installed in the pipelin e keep opening unless the wa-
ter-level or pressure of the Injection Tank is below cer-
tain valve to prevent nitrogen gas flowing into the core.
Meanwhile, Check Valves JNG50AA601 and JNG50A-
A602 are installed to preven t coolant in the primary loop
flowing into Injection Tan k.
The four Valves are connected in series, so events
about the valves’ failure are regarded as the input event
connected with Failure of Injection Pipeline by an OR-
4.5. FT for Check Valves’ Bypass Pipelines
Bypass Pipeline for Check Valves JNG50AA601 is in-
stalled with JNG51AA101 and JNG51AA102, while
Bypass Pipeline for Check Valves JNG50AA602 with
JNG52AA101 and JNG52AA102.
FT for Failure of Check Valves’ Bypass Pipelines is
built as shown as Figure 4.
4.6. FT for Nitrogen Exhausting Pipeline
The pipeline is used for decompression during the pri-
mary loop’s cooling ; however, if the pipeline fails during
the MP-Safety injection, JNG-2 System will lose its
Manual Valves KTB15AA111, KTB15AA112, KTB-
10AA106 and KTB10AA107 is installed; FT for Failure
of Nitrogen Exhausting Pipeline is built similar to that of
Injection Pipeline.
Figure 4. FT for check valve s’ bypass pipelines.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
L. S. LENG, Y. LIU 267
4.7. FT for Drainage Pipeline
Similar to Nitrogen Inflation Pipeline, Drainage Pipeline
has only a Motor Operated Valve KBA93AA103 in-
stalled in the same way.
4.8. FT for Valves
Valves in MP-SIS can be divided into three types: Motor
Operated Valve, Manual Valve and Check Valve, and FT
building with deferent modes for these valves can be
referred to Table 1.
5. Calculation and Analysis
Risk-Spectrum program of Windows version developed
by Swedish RELOOP-AB is chosen to calculate the
reliability of the Medium Pres sure Safety injection system.
The program is approved by China National Nuclear
Safety Administration (NNSA) as one sort of PSA
analysis software tool, which applies top-down algorithm
to obtain the MCSs [6].
The Unavailability of series JNG50 is calculated as
6.28 × 10-4. The unavailability of the main components
and pipeline as well as its contribution to the system’s
unavailability is shown in Table 2.
Table 1. Failure mode of valves.
Type Failure
Mode a Basic/Unexpected Event
Breakage of parts
FR Power supply failure
Mechanical reasons
Power supply failure FF
Human error
No open/close signal
Connecting cable damaged
Operating switch damaged
Operator miss to open/close
Operator open/close other valves
Operator miss to open/close
Operator error close/open valve
Unable to detect failure
SF Miss to close/open the valve after test
Breakage of parts
Valve FW Blockage
Table 2. Unavailability and contribution.
Component/Pipeline Unavailability Contribution
Injection Tank 1.12×10-7 0.0165%
Nitrogen Inflation Pipeline 3.32×10-5 5.29%
Hydrophobic Pipeline 6.64×10-5 10.6%
Injection Pipeline 6.07×10-5 9.66%
Check Valves’ Bypass Pipelines 1.29×10-4 20.5%
Nitrogen Exhausting Pipeline 3.56×10-4 56.7%
Drainage Pipeline 3.32×10-5 5.29%
It is also calculated that the Unavailability of Manual
Valves is 9.32×10-5, that of Motor Operated Valves is
3.32×10-5 and that of Check valves is 3.10×10-7.
The table illustrates that Nitrogen Exhausting Pipeline
has the greatest impact on the system’s reliability, as the
pipeline has four Manual Valves, the most unreliably
components, installed. Meanwhile, check valves’ by-
pass Pipeline installed with several active Motor Oper-
ated Valves also has a great contribution to system’s un-
Oppositely, Injection Tank, a passive component, has
almost no negative influence to the system. However,
Injection Pump as an active component in High Pressure
Safety System, has a relative high unavailability, th us the
active system is certainly more unreliably than MP-
Safety System.
The table illustrates that the top 10 MCSs are all con-
cerned with human interactions and that their contribu-
tion to the system’s unavailability reaches about 49.4%.
It can be inferred that the potential faults can be elim-
inated by enhancing the operating personnel’s serious
and responsible work attitude, which can ultimately en-
sure the proper operation of Medium Pressure Safety
Injection System.
6. Conclusions
This paper focuses on the reliability analysis conducted
on passive Medium Pressure Safety Injection System in
Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant. The Fault Tree for func-
tional failure of JNG-2 system was built and the calcula-
tion was performed with the help of Risk-Spectrum pro-
gram. The result shows that the passive components such
as Injection Tank are ben eficial to improving the reliabil-
ity of the system and unavoidable human interactions
with Manual Valves and Motor Operated Valves make a
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
great contribution to the system’s unavailability.
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