Integrated System for Management of Cable Aging in Support of Long Life Operation of Nuclear Power Plants

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Analysis And Measurement Services Corporation
9119 Cross Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37923
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


In this period of the nuclear energy renaissance and recognition of the role that nuclear energy can play in carbon free power production and energy security, the value of the existing fleet of nuclear power plants and the need for construction of additional units have become obvious in recent years. Therefore, life extension of the existing fleet of nuclear power plants and construction of new power plants has come to the forefront of the global debate on the future of electric power production. In fact, talk is now underway to operate the existing fleet of nuclear reactors for up to 80 or even 100 years. This proposal is concerned with the development of an integrated system for condition monitoring of cables, especially I&C cables, as well as low voltage cables such as those that are used in rod control systems, actuation equipment, and support systems such as pumps, valves, and motors. Cable testing and cable condition monitoring technologies for nuclear power plants have been under study for nearly 30 years and a number of promising methods are now available in the form of commercially available systems. However, these systems have not been qualified for nuclear power plants and do not currently provide objective information about the condition of cable insulation, nor can they distinguish whether the problem is in the cable or the end device being a sensor, transmitter, motor, etc. The system to be developed under this project provides for improved cable diagnostics covering the conductor, insulation, and end device. In phase I, the feasibility of developing this system will be established through laboratory experiments, and in phase II, a prototype cable condition monitoring system will be developed. This system will be useful not only to the existing fleet of nuclear power plants, but also to new advanced reactors, next generation plants, research reactors, and nuclear fuel fabrication facilities. Commercial Applications And Other Benefits: Successful completion of the project that is proposed here will result in the commercialization of a state-of-the art, compact, portable, and user friendly system for cable condition monitoring in nuclear power plants. Specific applications include condition monitoring of cable conductors, insulation, splices, terminations, and end devices. The commercial system will have immediate applications in nuclear power plants around the world, as well as other commercial or industrial facilities interested in effectively managing their aging cable assets.