Supercomputing and Computation


Probabilistic Pressure Boundary Integrity Safety Assessment (PISA) Program

Problem Statement:

  • The U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires leading-edge technical support to ensure the safety & reliability of pressurized components in U.S. nuclear power plants (NPP).

Technical Approach:

  • CSED assesses the integrity of NPP components through (1) property models that characterize fracture resistance of materials; (2) finite-element models that predict behavior of damaged components; (3) micromechanical models based on fundamental physics of fracture; & (4) probabilistic models that provide risk-informed technical bases for regulation.


  • CSED research results made a critical contribution to the technical bases for NRC’s new Pressurized-Thermal-Shock Rule, with a projected savings in capacity replacement costs of approximately $20 billion.

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