AMS is Awarded DOE Grant to Work with NRC to Implement its New Maintenance Technology in Nuclear Power Plants
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced in early May 2023 that it awarded $500,000 to Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation (AMS) for a year-long project to develop an industry blueprint that will reduce the outage time and maintenance costs for nuclear power plants.
AMS recently received approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its online monitoring (OLM) technology that can be used to determine if and when a pressure, level, or flow transmitter needs to be checked for calibration. This is a vast improvement over the current practice, which is to calibrate all safety-related transmitters each operating cycle (every 18 – 24 months) even if the transmitters show no signs of degradation. Implementing this OLM technology at a nuclear power plant can save over 90% of its transmitter calibration load, significantly reducing the plant’s outage time and maintenance costs. However, each plant must receive additional NRC approval through a License Amendment Request (LAR) before implementing the technology, which can take up to two years.
This project, titled “Optimization of Calibration Intervals of Nuclear Plant Pressure Transmitters,” aims to prepare a Technical Specification Task Force (TSTF) document that will help streamline this process, reducing the LAR preparation effort by nearly 75% and the NRC review time by almost 90%. The completion of this project will result in a direct benefit to the nuclear industry and the NRC by providing a straightforward path for the creation, review, and approval of LARs. AMS Senior Engineering Manager, Mr. Brent Shumaker, will be the Principal Investigator for this project, which is set to start later this year.
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