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This paper presents a practical reliability assessment algorithm for distribution systems of general network configurations. This algorithm is an extension of the analytical simulation approach for radial distribution systems. In the proposed algorithm, the meshed network is first converted to a radial network. All network elements are divided mainly into three classes according to the possibility for them to obtain power supplies from different directions. Accordingly, three different methods are employed to obtain two types of reliability topology zones for the elements. The algorithm is efficient for large-scale radial/meshed distribution systems, and can accommodate the effects of fault isolation and load restoration. The validity and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm is demonstrated by applying a computer program developed based on the proposed algorithm to a number of test systems and hundreds of real distribution networks.