A new approach to quantify safety benefits of disaster robots

  • Received : 2016.07.25
  • Accepted : 2017.06.04
  • Published : 2017.10.25


Remote response technology has advanced to the extent that a robot system, if properly designed and deployed, may greatly help respond to beyond-design-basis accidents at nuclear power plants. Particularly in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident, there is increasing interest in developing disaster robots that can be deployed in lieu of a human operator to the field to perform mitigating actions in the harsh environment caused by extreme natural hazards. The nuclear robotics team of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) is also endeavoring to construct disaster robots and, first of all, is interested in finding out to what extent safety benefits can be achieved by such a disaster robotic system. This paper discusses a new approach based on the probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) technique, which can be used to quantify safety benefits associated with disaster robots, along with a case study for seismic-induced station blackout condition. The results indicate that to avoid core damage in this special case a robot system with reliability > 0.65 is needed because otherwise core damage is inevitable. Therefore, considerable efforts are needed to improve the reliability of disaster robots, because without assurance of high reliability, remote response techniques will not be practically used.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea


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