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Title: Nuclear power plant cable materials :

Abstract

A selective literature review was conducted to assess whether currently available accelerated aging and original qualification data could be used to establish operational margins for the continued use of cable insulation and jacketing materials in nuclear power plant environments. The materials are subject to chemical and physical degradation under extended radiationthermal- oxidative conditions. Of particular interest were the circumstances under which existing aging data could be used to predict whether aged materials should pass loss of coolant accident (LOCA) performance requirements. Original LOCA qualification testing usually involved accelerated aging simulations of the 40-year expected ambient aging conditions followed by a LOCA simulation. The accelerated aging simulations were conducted under rapid accelerated aging conditions that did not account for many of the known limitations in accelerated polymer aging and therefore did not correctly simulate actual aging conditions. These highly accelerated aging conditions resulted in insulation materials with mostly inert aging processes as well as jacket materials where oxidative damage dropped quickly away from the air-exposed outside jacket surface. Therefore, for most LOCA performance predictions, testing appears to have relied upon heterogeneous aging behavior with oxidation often limited to the exterior of the cable cross-section a situation which is not comparable withmore » the nearly homogenous oxidative aging that will occur over decades under low dose rate and low temperature plant conditions. The historical aging conditions are therefore insufficient to determine with reasonable confidence the remaining operational margins for these materials. This does not necessarily imply that the existing 40-year-old materials would fail if LOCA conditions occurred, but rather that unambiguous statements about the current aging state and anticipated LOCA performance cannot be provided based on original qualification testing data alone. The non-availability of conclusive predictions for the aging conditions of 40-year-old cables implies that the same levels of uncertainty will remain for any re-qualification or extended operation of these cables. The highly variable aging behavior of the range of materials employed also implies that simple, standardized aging tests are not sufficient to provide the required aging data and performance predictions for all materials. It is recommended that focused studies be conducted that would yield the material aging parameters needed to predict aging behaviors under low dose, low temperature plant equivalent conditions and that appropriately aged specimens be prepared that would mimic oxidatively-aged 40- to 60- year-old materials for confirmatory LOCA performance testing. This study concludes that it is not sufficient to expose materials to rapid, high radiation and high temperature levels with subsequent LOCA qualification testing in order to predictively quantify safety margins of existing infrastructure with regard to LOCA performance. We need to better understand how cable jacketing and insulation materials have degraded over decades of power plant operation and how this aging history relates to service life prediction and the performance of existing equipment to withstand a LOCA situation.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1096518
Report Number(s):
SAND2013-2388
463781
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Celina, Mathias C., Gillen, Kenneth T, and Lindgren, Eric Richard. Nuclear power plant cable materials :. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.2172/1096518.
Celina, Mathias C., Gillen, Kenneth T, & Lindgren, Eric Richard. Nuclear power plant cable materials :. United States. doi:10.2172/1096518.
Celina, Mathias C., Gillen, Kenneth T, and Lindgren, Eric Richard. Wed . "Nuclear power plant cable materials :". United States. doi:10.2172/1096518. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1096518.
@article{osti_1096518,
title = {Nuclear power plant cable materials :},
author = {Celina, Mathias C. and Gillen, Kenneth T and Lindgren, Eric Richard},
abstractNote = {A selective literature review was conducted to assess whether currently available accelerated aging and original qualification data could be used to establish operational margins for the continued use of cable insulation and jacketing materials in nuclear power plant environments. The materials are subject to chemical and physical degradation under extended radiationthermal- oxidative conditions. Of particular interest were the circumstances under which existing aging data could be used to predict whether aged materials should pass loss of coolant accident (LOCA) performance requirements. Original LOCA qualification testing usually involved accelerated aging simulations of the 40-year expected ambient aging conditions followed by a LOCA simulation. The accelerated aging simulations were conducted under rapid accelerated aging conditions that did not account for many of the known limitations in accelerated polymer aging and therefore did not correctly simulate actual aging conditions. These highly accelerated aging conditions resulted in insulation materials with mostly inert aging processes as well as jacket materials where oxidative damage dropped quickly away from the air-exposed outside jacket surface. Therefore, for most LOCA performance predictions, testing appears to have relied upon heterogeneous aging behavior with oxidation often limited to the exterior of the cable cross-section a situation which is not comparable with the nearly homogenous oxidative aging that will occur over decades under low dose rate and low temperature plant conditions. The historical aging conditions are therefore insufficient to determine with reasonable confidence the remaining operational margins for these materials. This does not necessarily imply that the existing 40-year-old materials would fail if LOCA conditions occurred, but rather that unambiguous statements about the current aging state and anticipated LOCA performance cannot be provided based on original qualification testing data alone. The non-availability of conclusive predictions for the aging conditions of 40-year-old cables implies that the same levels of uncertainty will remain for any re-qualification or extended operation of these cables. The highly variable aging behavior of the range of materials employed also implies that simple, standardized aging tests are not sufficient to provide the required aging data and performance predictions for all materials. It is recommended that focused studies be conducted that would yield the material aging parameters needed to predict aging behaviors under low dose, low temperature plant equivalent conditions and that appropriately aged specimens be prepared that would mimic oxidatively-aged 40- to 60- year-old materials for confirmatory LOCA performance testing. This study concludes that it is not sufficient to expose materials to rapid, high radiation and high temperature levels with subsequent LOCA qualification testing in order to predictively quantify safety margins of existing infrastructure with regard to LOCA performance. We need to better understand how cable jacketing and insulation materials have degraded over decades of power plant operation and how this aging history relates to service life prediction and the performance of existing equipment to withstand a LOCA situation.},
doi = {10.2172/1096518},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2013},
month = {Wed May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2013}
}

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