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An efficient practical reliability evaluation algorithm is presented for large-scale radial electrical distribution networks (EDN) using a section technique and taking into account the construction features of the EDN. The definition and properties of the section of a branch (SOB) concept, the component spreading method (CSM) for forming the SOB, and an algorithm for the reliability evaluation of an EDN based on the SOB are presented in this paper. The functional unit of an EDN in the failure simulation process is an SOB rather than a component as used in the conventional method and the CSM is used to identify the area controlled by switches. The proposed algorithm should prove useful in practical engineering applications as the repeated search for the areas controlled by switches can be avoided, which sharply reduces the demand for fault enumeration simulation. The developed algorithm was tested on a small test system and a number of practical EDN and the results show the effectiveness and applicability of the proposed approach.