Fire is a one of the hazards that is most commonly encountered in Nuclear Power Plants and could result in damages to safety related systems and to systems important to obtain and maintain safe shutdown of the plant as well as radioactive releases to the environment. One of the main conclusions from the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Regulations Working Group on Risk Assessment (WGRisk) 2005 workshop is that fire, depending on the design and operational characteristics can be a significant, and possibly the dominant, risk contributor. In addition, the WGRisk SOAR noted the significance of fire spreading and the impact of smoke and heat on instrumentation and controls.
Inspections performed in this area are therefore of special interest. Based on initial discussions within the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP), there is no documented information shared among the members regarding specific fire protection programmes, including active and passive protection of safety significant structures, systems, and components (SSC).
Based on discussions within the WGIP, members proposed a task to prepare a report to provide information to the member countries and improve their own inspection programmes and practices. Additionally, it was noted that a comparison between the outcome of the inspection and actual failures from past experience would also be useful. WGIP noted that Working Group on Operating Experience (WGOE) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Fire Project would be best suited to provide information on past experience and actual failures.