Recovery Act - A Holistic Approach for In-Situ Cable Condition Monitoring in Nuclear Power Plants
Small Business Information
AMS Technology Center, 9119 Cross Park Drive, Knoxville, TN, 37923
AbstractIn the U.S., almost all 104 operating commercial nuclear power plants have applied for or plan to apply for, or have already received license renewal to allow operation for up to 60 years. As the plants age, safe operation becomes increasingly important and more frequent monitoring of the health of plant equipment becomes vital. This was recognized by the leaders in the industry over twenty years ago when studies of equipment aging and development of ways to handle aging began. Today, electrical cable aging and its impact on plant safety and operation is a worldwide concern for nuclear power plants. Loss of a cable because of a cable fault or problem can impact the operation and function of important plant safety equipment and/or the loss of performance and operational data. Knowing the aging condition of critical plant wiring and in particular aging that could result in degraded performance of a cable circuit is extremely important to the availability and safe operation of the plant. Current techniques provide problem identification and fault location capability but further advancements in the available techniques and development of new ones are needed before they can be relied upon for effective and consistent cable aging assessment. During the proposed project, AMS will investigate the state-of-the-art in cable aging evaluation techniques applicable to nuclear power plant wiring systems, and investigate their effectiveness for identifying aging mechanisms in cable circuits through objective laboratory experiments. Measurements will be correlated against classical tests to build a database of aging relationships that will simplify analysis. The result of the Phase II project will be a holistic cable aging assessment program that will provide comprehensive cable testing capabilities, analysis tools, training and technical services, and turn-key plant implementation for assessing the aging of plant wiring systems. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Successful commercialization of this product will result in an easily implemented, operational cable aging assessment and management system using the state-of-the-art in cable condition monitoring techniques that will provide correlated aging evaluations of plant cable and wiring. Applications will include tests to evaluate cable problems, insulation aging, and gross or localized cable and connector problems as well as an assessment of the aging condition of the cable. The system will have immediate application in nuclear power plants as well as other commercial or industrial facilities interested in effectively assessing and managing cable aging assets.
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