Automatic Fault Tree Generation From Multidisciplinary Dependency Models for Early Failure Propagation Assessment
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Safety engineering for complex systems is a very challenging task and the industry has a firm basis and trust on a set of established methods like the Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). New methodologies for system engineering are being proposed by academia, some related to safety, but they have a limited chance for successful adoption by the safety industry unless they provide a clear connection and benefit in relation to the traditional methodologies. Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) has produced multiple safety related applications. In past work system models were used to generate event trees, failure propagation scenarios and for early human reliability analyses. This paper extends previous work, on a high-level interdisciplinary system model for early defense in depth assessment, to support the automatic generation of fault tree statements for specific critical system components. These statements can then be combined into fault trees using software already utilized by the industry. The fault trees can then be linked to event trees in order to provide a more complete picture of an initiating event, the mitigating functions and critical components that are involved. The produced fault trees use a worst-case scenario approach by stating that if a dependency exists then the failure propagation is certain. Our proposed method doesn’t consider specific failure modes and related probabilities, a safety expert can use them as a starting point for further development. The methodology is demonstrated with a case study of a spent fuel pool cooling system of a nuclear plant.
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