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.
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