Software Development and Tools
At ARS, we continually strive to improve the services we offer to clients. Some of the ways in which we do this include the evaluation and innovative use of technology, the application of new software, and the development of purpose-developed, proprietary software programs.
SASHA, an ARS proprietary application, is a SQL-based database with .NET Framework application initially developed for SAfe SHutdown Analysis. SASHA integrates data from four modules: Cable and Raceway, Safe Shutdown Analysis, Fire PRA Support, and Fire Hazards Analysis/Fire Characteristics Tables. The SSA module is used to identify fire-induced failures by fire area/zone to support the determination of a success path that ensures at least one train of redundant systems is free from fire damage. SASHA provides an automated, efficient way of performing required analyses using industry-approved guidance.
WebTRAN is the ARS-proprietary web-based software application developed to document the real-time status of the transition products for NFPA 805.
With WebTRAN, clients can easily monitor progress and provide oversight of a transition project in progress in a secure Oracle database. The software includes enhanced features for open items, variances from deterministic requirements (VFDRs), and license documents with the capability for management to review ongoing work products. In addition, contractors and owners can collaborate and view the progress of the transition to NFPA 805 from multiple locations. The database offers greater stability, increased speed, stability, and a better multi-user environment than traditional Access databases.
As part of ARS’ mission of working with clients to develop strategies to minimize the risk of fire in nuclear power plants, we have developed various tools to assist with FPRA Support Tasks, including the calculation of fire ignition frequencies and recording of plant walkdown information.
Under Task 6 of the NUREG/CR-6850 guidance, plants evaluate the likelihood of fires caused by possible ignition sources. In support of NUREG/CR-6850 Tasks 1 and 8, ARS has created customized database tools that organizes the information gathered during plant walkdowns, Fire PRA Support Task A. Using this database, ARS engineers and consultants can easily record plant walkdown information, calculate ignition frequencies, and determine how these calculations affect fire and risk assessment modeling.
Our use of databases such as these and available technology, such as tablets, allows us to record information accurately and efficiently. Digitally recording information at the outset reduces the burden, cost, and potential errors of traditional data entry and allows for expedient collaboration between on-site teams and teams in the ARS offices.
TASK11xl Fire Modeling Tool
As part of the guidelines set forth in NUREG/CR-6850, Task 11 directs nuclear power plants in the methods of performing detailed fire modeling, predicting the ways in which a fire will behave in a designated area and the equipment that may be affected by such a fire. The fire protection engineers at ARS have designed a data mapping tool, TASK11xl, to facilitate the maps and models necessary to making these calculations.
Using a macro developed by ARS, the data from other NUREG task calculations are used to calculate the likelihood of a fire in a defined area of a plant that may cause damage to cabling or equipment. Additionally, the tool can calculate the ability of existing fire detection and suppression methods to prevent damage.
The TASK11xl program is faster and more flexible than performing calculations by hand or relying on existing detailed fire modeling tools. Because of the macro, variables can be changed and updated quickly, allowing fire modeling engineers to adapt the program to calculate for each fire area separately, rather than having to rely on representative rooms when calculating the likelihood of fire damage and suppression.