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Use of Data Analytics to Obtain Cost Reductions and Performance Improvements in a Regulatory Application

Source: AIChE
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    AIChE Member Credits 0.5
    AIChE Members $19.00
    AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
    AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
    Non-Members $29.00
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 21, 2021
  • Duration:
    60 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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All operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the United States are required to monitor and assess the performance of plant structures, systems and components (SSCs) as specified in the Maintenance Rule (10CFR50.65). This rule requires that all licensees identify the occurrence of any SSC failure that results in a loss of safety function, often referred to as a Maintenance Rule Functional Failure (MRFF). All MRFFs are subsequently evaluated through the plant corrective action program (CAP) as required by 10CFR72.172. To ensure these requirements are met, all NPPs document events that occur which are evaluated to identify impact on the plant. A typical dual unit generating facility generates as many as 15,000 of these incident reports (IRs) per year which each must be evaluated by experienced plant staff. Of these IRs, only 0.1-0.2% typically are MRFFs. NPPs have found the monitoring of plant SSCs for compliance with the maintenance rule to be expensive and resource intensive.

An alternative approach which has the potential to reduce these costs is to automate the review of IRs through the use of data analytics and machine learning (DA/ML). Advances over the past several decades in computational capabilities and computer programming techniques / algorithms now permit application of DA/ML techniques to analyze the large historical data sets that contain information on the performance of SSCs over years of plant operation. Unfortunately, these techniques have not been widely adopted within the nuclear industry due to its highly regulated nature. A consequence of this structure is that any DA/ML models used in applications subject to regulatory oversight must provide a high degree of confidence in the predictions due to potential regulatory impacts associated with an incorrect determination.

The MRFF Analyzer is a DA/ML application which significantly improves the efficiency of the maintenance rule screening process. The model uses a combination of natural language processing (NLP), Bayesian statistics, and machine learning to identify the likelihood that the incident described by an IR represents a MRFF. The software was trained, tested, and validated on four years of historic incident reports (2015-2019) generated across Exelon Generation’s fleet of operating NPPs. This data set consisted of approximately 650,000 IRs. Approximately 420,000 IRs from 2015 through the summer of 2018 were used to train the model, and 80,000 IRs from summer-winter 2018 were used to test the model. Model performance in the field was validated during 2019 with each IR generated by the sites analyzed by the software with review performed by on-site subject matter experts as specified in the plant program implementing procedures. Once the performance of the MRFF Analyzer software was verified as adequate to meet the requirements of the Maintenance Rule, the parallel use of review by human experts was discontinued.

This paper presents the development, training, and deployment of the MRFF Analyzer software across Exelon Generation’s fleet of operating NPPs. The algorithms in use in the software are discussed in detail. The challenges dealing with highly skewed data are presented and the approaches used to address these challenges discussed. The results of a detailed sensitivity assessment are presented and used to estimate the expected statistical performance of the software. The overall performance of MRFF Analyzer since its deployment at Exelon Generation is discussed and estimates of the cost savings are provided.

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Pricing


Individuals

AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00
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