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Verification and Validation of Commonly Used Empirical Correlations for Fire Scenarios



Kristopher J. Overholt


This document was created as part of a fire model verification and validation study conducted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The results of this verification and validation study are summarized in NUREG-1824 Supplement 1, the Verification and Validation of Selected Fire Models for Nuclear Power Plant Applications. The focus of this document is to compare model predictions of empirical correlations that are commonly used in fire scenarios to various experimentally measured quantities (e.g., hot gas layer temperature, heat flux, plume temperature). A Fortran program was developed along with this document that automates the calculations of the empirical correlations and the verification and validation process. This automated verification and validation process is a method for maintaining the empirical correlations in the long term in a centralized location and enables model verification and validation to be performed on the empirical correlations in a systematic manner. This document is complementary to the verification and validation guides for the Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport (CFAST) and Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) fire models, which are maintained by NIST. The experimental data sets referred to in this study are described in more detail in the FDS Validation Guide (Volume 3 of the FDS Technical Reference Guide) and their respective test reports. For each quantity and empirical correlation, Sections 1 through 8 provide a short description of the governing equations, a verification example, and a validation scatter plot that shows model predictions compared to measured values. For each empirical correlation, the corresponding validation scatter plot lists the experimental relative standard deviation, model relative standard deviation, and bias factor.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1169
Report Number


verification, validation, empirical correlations, fire dynamics


Overholt, K. (2014), Verification and Validation of Commonly Used Empirical Correlations for Fire Scenarios, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created April 28, 2014, Updated June 2, 2021