Petri net modeling of fault analysis for probabilistic risk assessment

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Fault trees and event trees have been widely accepted as the modeling strategy to perform Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). However, there are several limitations associated with fault tree/event tree modeling. These include 1. It only considers binary events; 2. It assumes independence among basic events; and 3. It does not consider timing sequence of basic events. This thesis investigates Petri net modeling as a potential alternative for PRA modeling. Petri nets have mainly been used as a simulation tool for queuing and network systems. However, it has been suggested that they could also model failure scenarios, and thus could be a potential modeling strategy for PRA. In this thesis, the transformations required to model logic gates in a fault tree by Petri nets are explored. The gap between fault tree analysis and Petri net analysis is bridged through gate equivalency analysis. Methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis for Petri nets are presented. Techniques are developed and implemented to revise and tailor traditional Petri net modeling for system failure analysis. The airlock system and the maintenance cooling system of a CANada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactor are used as case studies to demonstrate Petri nets ability to model system failure and provide a structured approach for qualitative and quantitative analysis. The minimal cutsets and the probability of the airlock system failing to maintain the pressure boundary are obtained. Furthermore, the case study is extended to non-coherent system analysis due to system maintenance.
Petri net, Fault analysis, Coherent, Non-Coherent, CANDU