AMS recently had the opportunity to give a seminar to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Trevor Toll and Casey Sexton were honored to lead a seminar on, ‘The Development of Cable Aging Criteria for Nuclear Facilities’ to engineers at PNNL last week.
The aging of nuclear power plant electrical cables has been the subject of substantial research and development (R&D) projects in the nuclear industry, national and international laboratories, universities, and vendor organizations for several years. This R&D was conducted to develop equipment and techniques to support aging management of in-service electrical cables in nuclear facilities including power plants, research reactors, waste facilities and fuel fabrication plants. Today, a variety of cable condition monitoring (CM) techniques have been developed and successfully used in nuclear facilities. These techniques are used to identify aging degradation and assess the condition of cables exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as elevated temperatures, radiation, humidity, and mechanical stresses to determine if they have experienced significant age-related degradation during service.
Although these CM techniques have proven to trend with age-related degradation of cable polymers, currently there is no objective criteria to help quantify the condition of low voltage cable using these methods. Under this project, Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation (AMS) is conducting an R&D effort in collaboration with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to develop aging acceptance criteria for CM tests that have shown to trend with age-related degradation in low voltage cable insulation polymers. These criteria can be used to provide a quantitative evaluation of the aged condition of installed cables.