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Bayes’ theorem and its application to nuclear power plant safety

MATSUOKA Takeshi1, 2
1. Collage of Nuclear Science and Technology, Harbin Engineering University No.145-1, Nantong Street, Nangang District, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, 150001 China
2. Center for Fundamental Education, Utsunomiya University, 350 Mine-machi, Utsunomiya City, 321-8505 Japan (
Abstract:Bayes’ theorem has been paid in much attention for its application to Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA). In this lecture, the basis for understanding Bayes’ theorem is first explained and how to interpret the Bayes’ equation with respect to the pair of conjugate distributions between prior distribution and likelihood. Then for the application to PSA, component failure data are evaluated by Bayes’ theorem by using the examples of demand probability of the start of diesel generator and failure of pressure sensor. Frequencies of nuclear power plant accidents are also evaluated by Bayes’ theorem for the example case of frequency of "fires in reactor compartment" and "core melt" frequency with the experience of Fukushima dai-ichi accidents. Lastly, several contrasting arguments are introduced briefly between favorable and critical peoples regarding the Bayes’ methods.
Keyword:  Bayes’ theorem; nuclear plant safety; expert opinion; component failure rate


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