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Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control System Technologies: Nondestructive Examination Technologies - FY11 Report

Description: Licensees of commercial nuclear power plants in the US are expected to submit license renewal applications for the period of operation of 60 to 80 years which has also been referred to as long term operation (LTO). The greatest challenges to LTO are associated with degradation of passive components as active components are routinely maintained and repaired or placed through maintenance programs. Some passive component degradation concerns include stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of metal components, radiation induced embrittlement of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV), degradation of buried piping, degradation of concrete containment structures, and degradation of cables. Proactive management of passive component aging employs three important elements including online monitoring of degradation, early detection of degradation at precursor stages, and application of prognostics for the prediction of remaining useful life (RUL). This document assesses several nondestructive examination (NDE) measurement technologies for integration into proactive aging management programs. The assessment is performed by discussing the three elements of proactive aging management identified above, considering the current state of the industry with respect to adopting these key elements, and analyzing measurement technologies for monitoring large cracks in metal components, monitoring early degradation at precursor stages, monitoring the degradation of concrete containment structures, and monitoring the degradation of cables. Specific and general needs have been identified through this assessment. General needs identified include the need for environmentally rugged sensors are needed that can operate reliably in an operating reactor environment, the need to identify parameters from precursor monitoring technologies that are unambiguously correlated with the level of pre-macro defect damage, and a methodology for identifying regions where precursor damage is most likely to initiate.
Date: August 30, 2011
Creator: Meyer, Ryan M.; Coble, Jamie B.; Ramuhalli, Pradeep & Bond, Leonard J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Review of Sensor Calibration Monitoring for Calibration Interval Extension in Nuclear Power Plants

Description: Currently in the United States, periodic sensor recalibration is required for all safety-related sensors, typically occurring at every refueling outage, and it has emerged as a critical path item for shortening outage duration in some plants. Online monitoring can be employed to identify those sensors that require calibration, allowing for calibration of only those sensors that need it. International application of calibration monitoring, such as at the Sizewell B plant in United Kingdom, has shown that sensors may operate for eight years, or longer, within calibration tolerances. This issue is expected to also be important as the United States looks to the next generation of reactor designs (such as small modular reactors and advanced concepts), given the anticipated longer refueling cycles, proposed advanced sensors, and digital instrumentation and control systems. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) accepted the general concept of online monitoring for sensor calibration monitoring in 2000, but no U.S. plants have been granted the necessary license amendment to apply it. This report presents a state-of-the-art assessment of online calibration monitoring in the nuclear power industry, including sensors, calibration practice, and online monitoring algorithms. This assessment identifies key research needs and gaps that prohibit integration of the NRC-approved online calibration monitoring system in the U.S. nuclear industry. Several needs are identified, including the quantification of uncertainty in online calibration assessment; accurate determination of calibration acceptance criteria and quantification of the effect of acceptance criteria variability on system performance; and assessment of the feasibility of using virtual sensor estimates to replace identified faulty sensors in order to extend operation to the next convenient maintenance opportunity. Understanding the degradation of sensors and the impact of this degradation on signals is key to developing technical basis to support acceptance criteria and set point decisions, particularly for advanced sensors which do not ...
Date: August 31, 2012
Creator: Coble, Jamie B.; Meyer, Ryan M.; Ramuhalli, Pradeep; Bond, Leonard J.; Hashemian, Hash; Shumaker, Brent et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technical Needs for Enhancing Risk Monitors with Equipment Condition Assessment for Advanced Small Modular Reactors

Description: Advanced small modular reactors (aSMRs) can provide the United States with a safe, sustainable, and carbon-neutral energy source. The controllable day-to-day costs of aSMRs are expected to be dominated by operation and maintenance costs. Health and condition assessment coupled with online risk monitors can potentially enhance affordability of aSMRs through optimized operational planning and maintenance scheduling. Currently deployed risk monitors are an extension of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). For complex engineered systems like nuclear power plants, PRA systematically combines event likelihoods and the probability of failure (POF) of key components, so that when combined with the magnitude of possible adverse consequences to determine risk. Traditional PRA uses population-based POF information to estimate the average plant risk over time. Currently, most nuclear power plants have a PRA that reflects the as-operated, as-modified plant; this model is updated periodically, typically once a year. Risk monitors expand on living PRA by incorporating changes in the day-by-day plant operation and configuration (e.g., changes in equipment availability, operating regime, environmental conditions). However, population-based POF (or population- and time-based POF) is still used to populate fault trees. Health monitoring techniques can be used to establish condition indicators and monitoring capabilities that indicate the component-specific POF at a desired point in time (or over a desired period), which can then be incorporated in the risk monitor to provide a more accurate estimate of the plant risk in different configurations. This is particularly important for active systems, structures, and components (SSCs) proposed for use in aSMR designs. These SSCs may differ significantly from those used in the operating fleet of light-water reactors (or even in LWR-based SMR designs). Additionally, the operating characteristics of aSMRs can present significantly different requirements, including the need to operate in different coolant environments, higher operating temperatures, and longer operating cycles between planned refueling ...
Date: April 4, 2013
Creator: Coble, Jamie B.; Coles, Garill A.; Ramuhalli, Pradeep; Meyer, Ryan M.; Berglin, Eric J.; Wootan, David W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Materials Degradation and Detection (MD2): Deep Dive Final Report

Description: An effort is underway at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to develop a fundamental and general framework to foster the science and technology needed to support real-time monitoring of early degradation in materials used in the production of nuclear power. The development of such a capability would represent a timely solution to the mounting issues operators face with materials degradation in nuclear power plants. The envisioned framework consists of three primary and interconnected “thrust” areas including 1) microstructural science, 2) behavior assessment, and 3) monitoring and predictive capabilities. A brief state-of-the-art assessment for each of these core technology areas is discussed in the paper.
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: McCloy, John S.; Montgomery, Robert O.; Ramuhalli, Pradeep; Meyer, Ryan M.; Hu, Shenyang Y.; Li, Yulan et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department