Electrical cable fire test, IRSN.
The NEA PRISME project addressed in a series of 3 phases from 2006 till 2022 fire risk research. Operating experience shows that fire is one of the highest risks in nuclear facilities as shown, for instance, by the Fire Incidents Records Exchange (FIRE) project. The PRISME project provided data to assess fire risk, to model fire initiation, propagation in nuclear facilities and to assess efficiency of fire mitigation approaches and systems. The acronym PRISME comes from the French propagation d’un incendie pour des scénarios multi-locaux élémentaires, which in English can be translated as "fire propagation in elementary, multi-room scenarios".
The first phase of the PRISME project consisted of a series of fire and smoke propagation tests in a dedicated facility at the Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN) in Cadarache, France. The facility was used to investigate room-to-room heat and smoke propagation, the effect of network ventilation and the resulting thermal stresses to sensitive safety equipment of such room configurations. Data from the project was also used to study multi-room fires and for validation of fire computer codes. Several propagation modes were studied: through a door, along a ventilation duct that crosses the room containing the fire and that ventilates an adjacent room, along a ventilation duct when the flow is reversed within and through leakages between several rooms.
This phase provided critical information as the time that elapses before target equipment malfunctions and to qualify computer codes modelling heat and smoke propagation phenomena. The results were used as a basis for qualifying fire codes (either simplified zone model codes or computerised fluid dynamics codes used in the fire safety analysis of nuclear installations and plants). After qualification, these codes could be applied for simulating other fire propagation scenarios in various room configurations with a good degree of confidence. The information is useful to designers in order to select the best fire protection strategy. For the operators, this data is useful for establishing the suitable operation of the plant, such as the operation of the ventilation network (e.g. closing dampers to reduce the ventilation flow rate or to stop the ventilation) in case of a fire.
Data Package for the PRISME project may be requested at PRISME, Fire and smoke propagation tests.
The second phase (PRISME-2) provided valuable results on room-to-room heat and smoke propagation, the effects of ventilation and the resulting thermal stresses to sensitive safety equipment in specific room configurations. As for phase one, phase two consisted of a series of fire and smoke propagation tests at the IRSN dedicated facility in Cadarache. Data from the project was used to study further multi-room fires and for enhancing validation of fire computer codes.
The PRISME-2 project results addressed some outstanding safety issues, with reducing uncertainties in risk assessments for nuclear power plants filling knowledge gaps, and enhancing modelling capabilities on fire growth and propagation, on fire extinction phenomena, on the prediction of damage to equipment and on the treatment of plant and operator response to a fire event. Phase 2 also provided useful information on outstanding questions with respect to fire probabilistic safety assessments, in particular regarding how heat and smoke propagate from one room to another and the impact of smoke on safety-critical systems.
The technical programme of phase 2 consisted of the following:
Data Package for the PRISME-2 project may be requested at PRISME-2, Fire and smoke propagation tests Phase 2.
Phase three (PRISME-3) was a follow-up of the two previous phases. The technical programme of phase 3 consisted of the following:
As for the previous phases, PRISME-3 provided outstanding data for enhancing codes for modeling fires development and mitigation in nuclear facilities and for supporting fire risks probability analyses. Outstanding questions after PRISME-3 are currently addressed in the FAIR project.
The PRISME series has served to increase significantly the knowledge on fire risks in nuclear plants and building a unique experimental data base for fire modeling and fire safety codes validation and verification.
PRISME: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States
PRISME-2: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom
PRISME-3: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom and the United States
PRISME: January 2006 to June 2011
PRISME-2: July 2011 to June 2016
PRISME-3: January 2017 to June 2022
PRISME: EUR 7 million
PRISME-2: EUR 7 million
PRISME-3: EUR 4.26 million