SAPHIRE @ the Idaho National Laboratory

SAPHIRE Users Group Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The purpose of this area is to provide the answers to common questions related to the SAPHIRE Users Group and SAPHIRE for Windows software.

How do I get a copy of the SAPHIRE software? To get the current version of SAPHIRE 8
  • The current version of SAPHIRE is generally distributed through the SAPHIRE Users Group.
  • A completed and signed non-disclosure agreement (NDA) must be sent to and approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) prior to receiving a authorization to join the SAPHIRE Users Group.
  • Locate a copy of the SAPHIRE NDA form on the Obtaining NRC Codes page at NRC's public website.
  • Once you have a NDC on file with the USNRC, INL will proceed with establishing your SAPHIRE Users Group membership. Members will be granted access to the SAPHIRE Users Group website where you can download the current executable for SAPHIRE 8 and receive customer support. Customer support and access to updated SAPHIRE releases will continue throughout the membership period.
  • For U.S. Government Departments and Agencies, the U.S. NRC may grant exceptions to the requirement for SAPHIRE Users Group membership. For these requests a completed and signed NDA form is still required.

To get an older copy of SAPHIRE 8 (without SAPHIRE User Group support):
What are the differences between SAPHIRE 7 and SAPHIRE 8?

  • Both SAPHIRE 7 and SAPHIRE 8 produce fault trees, event trees and accurate cut sets and sequences with importance and uncertainty.
  • SAPHIRE 7 is a legacy code and its development ended with the release of version 7.28. SAPHIRE 7 is not stable with operating systems newer than Windows XP
  • SAPHIRE 8 will be supported for the foreseeable future with upgrades in features and corrections of any bugs found.
  • SAPHIRE 7 does not have many of the reporting and analysis tools that SAPHIRE 8 does.
  • SAPHIRE 7 is menu driven and doesn't incorporate many of the Windows-based features that SAPHIRE 8 does.
What are the changes in the latest release of SAPHIRE? The specific details can be obtained from our Release Notes 8.1.4 page.
Who paid for the development of the SAPHIRE software? The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the primary sponsor of the SAPHIRE software.
Why are the SAPHIRE Users Group membership costs so low when compared to commercial software license fees? The price of membership in the Users Group covers our direct costs of providing support and training material to end users. Since the INL is a national "cost-recovery" laboratory, we are not permitted to (and do not) maintain a "profit margin" on activities associated with the SAPHIRE Users Group.
What are the advantages of joining the SAPHIRE Users Group? There are several advantages to joining the Users Group:
  1. Membership provides updates during the length of the contract.
  2. Access to the SAPHIRE 'Members' pages and related information is provided.
  3. On-call support from SAPHIRE experts and developers is provided.
  4. Provide feedback for suggested enhancements and bug reporting.
How do I get a SAPHIRE membership? The specific details can be obtained from our Membership Information page.
Could a company pay for 1 member but have 2 or 3 people using the software? Yes. The membership pays for customer support, so you would only receive 1 website access and on-call support for a single person. Some entities (company, university, etc...) choose to funnel all customer support questions through one individual.

The number of people using SAPHIRE is controlled by the NDA with the USNRC and not through SAPHIRE Users Group membership.
What training is available for SAPHIRE? We teach a SAPHIRE Users Group "SAPHIRE BASICS" course. This class lasts about three days and covers the important aspects of using SAPHIRE. For information on the class agenda and costs please see our training page.
What are the PC requirements to run SAPHIRE for Windows? Please see our SAPHIRE Info page for technical information on the SAPHIRE software.
Does SAPHIRE run on a UNIX, Apple, etc., machine? SAPHIRE 8 is designed to run on Intel-based processors. No native language support is available or planned for non-Intel computers. Intel software or hardware emulators for other types of computers may be able to run SAPHIRE assuming the emulator is a 80386 level or higher (also, Windows emulation would be needed to run SAPHIRE for Windows).

Also, please note that the legacy code SAPHIRE 7 is not stable with operating systems newer than Windows XP
How do I convert my old SAPHIRE 7 fault trees to SAPHIRE 8? SAPHIRE 7 models will open in SAPHIRE 8. Some naming conventions have changed so if thre are unallowable characters in a gate name, it will create as a blank name and need to be re-named. Customer support can help you with individual issues.
How do I convert my fault trees developed in my "ABCXYZ" software so they will work with SAPHIRE? SAPHIRE for Windows has the ability to load fault tree information in one of two text formats. First, the SETS file format is supported. Simply copy the SETS logic file into the SAPHIRE project subdirectory and then load the file via the "Utility, Load and Extract" option. Second, the native text input-output of IRRAS and SAPHIRE is a format called MAR-D. Search the help file that is built into SAPHIRE for "MAR-D" for more information. ANY information that can be put into SAPHIRE can be loaded or exported using the MAR-D format.
How can I report my analyses, including incorporating my fault trees/event trees into a document? SAPHIRE can output many reports in .HTML, .PDF, comma delimited, .RTF, and .XLS formats.

Graphics, including fault and event trees images can be saved as "Windows meta-files" (.WMF) or "Bitmaps" (.BMP). These types of graphic files can be read into many different word processing and graphics-editing programs.