Research Papers

Capturing Deviations From Design Intent in Building Simulation Models for Risk Assessment

[+] Author and Article Information
Heikki Nikula

Department of Electrical Engineering
and Automation,
Aalto University,
P.O. Box 15500,
Espoo FI-00076, Finland
e-mail: heikki.nikula1@aalto.fi

Seppo Sierla

Department of Electrical Engineering
and Automation,
Aalto University,
P.O. Box 15500,
Espoo FI-00076, Finland

Bryan O'Halloran

Raytheon Missile Systems,
Reliability and Systems Safety Engineering Lead,
1151 E Hermans Road,
Tucson, AZ 85756
e-mail: ohalloran.bryan@gmail.com

Tommi Karhela

VTT Technical Research,
Centre of Finland,
P.O. Box 1000,
Espoo 02044, Finland
e-mail: Tommi.Karhela@vtt.fi

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received May 9, 2015; final manuscript received April 5, 2015; published online November 6, 2015. Editor: Joshua D. Summers

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 15(4), 041011 (Nov 06, 2015) Paper No: JCISE-14-1167; doi: 10.1115/1.4030385 History: Received May 09, 2015

Simulation-based methods are emerging to address the challenges of complex systems risk assessment, and this paper identifies two problems related to the use of such methods. First, the methods cannot identify new hazards if the simulation model builders are expected to foresee the hazards and incorporate the abnormal behavior related to the hazard into the simulation model. Therefore, this paper uses the concept of deviation from design intent to systematically capture abnormal conditions that may lead to component failures, hazards, or both. Second, simulation-based risk assessment methods should explicitly consider what expertise is required from the experts that build and use the simulation models—the transfer of the methods to real engineering practice will be severely hindered if they must be performed by persons that are expert in domain safety as well as advanced computer simulation-based methods. This paper addresses both problems in the context of the functional failure identification and propagation (FFIP) method. One industrially established risk assessment method, hazard and operability study (HAZOP), is harnessed to systematically obtain the deviations from design intent in the application under study. An information system presents a user interface that is understandable to HAZOP professionals, so that their inputs are transparently entered to a data model that captures the deviations. From the data model, instructions for configuring FFIP simulation models are printed in a form that is understandable for FFIP experts. The method is demonstrated for discovering a hazard resulting from system-wide fault propagation in a boiling water reactor case.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The proposed computer-aided variant of the HAZOP procedure

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

User interface for supporting the workflow in Fig. 3 (AEC = abnormal environmental condition)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Interface for guiding the user through the first inner loop in Fig. 6

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Workflow for creating links between CFG and EFG. Adapted from Ref. [2].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Interface for guiding the user through the second inner loop in Fig. 5

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Flowchart for creating the EFG [2]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Interface for guiding the user through the workflow in Fig. 1

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Example of textual information for simulation expert generated from the populated data model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

CFG of the coolant systems of a boiling water reactor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Effect of blockage of feedwater outlet at time t1



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