skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Activation Energies of Harvested Boston Insulated Wire and Okonite Cable Materials

Abstract

As part of the Cable Aging Task within the Material Aging and Degradation (MAaD) pathway of the DOE Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) program, ORNL is collaborating with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NCR) to study cable aging mechanisms. Understanding cable aging mechanisms in cable nuclear power plants (NPPs) with needed information as they seek plant life extensions to 80 years of operations. This report summarizes activities in the characterization of harvested electrical I&C cables related to activation energy and their role in determining the remaining margin of time cable insulation in NPPs can be used. Activation energy is the amount of energy that is required to break chemical bonds in a polymer through an endothermic reaction. For I&C cables that are utilized in NPPs, activation energy is used with a time and temperature dependent cable property like elongation at break (EAB) and/or an electrical property like voltage withstand to determine whether a cable insulation material meets the performance requirements for the environmental conditions such as temperature, radiation, and humidity for a given plant location. Considering differences in activation energies that were observed in harvested cable jackets whenmore » compared to previous measurements, an assessment of the cable insulation activation energy in harvested I&C cables was performed given that the insulation performance ultimately determines that lifetime performance for a cable. This assessment consisted of the mechanical and chemical characterization of harvested Boston Insulated Wire (BIW) and Okonite cable insulations from Zion NPP from a series of thermal accelerated aging exposures between 140°C and 160°C. Cables were obtained as part of the LWRS Zion Harvesting Project in cooperation with Energy Solutions and the NRC. Activation energies of 1.10 eV and 0.61 eV were obtained for BIW and Okonite manufactured ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) insulation with individual chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) jackets respectively. When compared to previous measurements, the activation energy of BIW agreed well, while there was a sizeable gap for previous Okonite activation energies near 0.91 eV. The lack of agreement could be attributed to differences in raw materials used in a given insulation and/or jacket, differences in the thicknesses of the EPR insulation and CSPE individual jacket or the environmental conditions that the insulation from previous measurements experienced prior to characterization especially if cables were not stored at manufacturer recommended conditions. Comparison of harvested insulation compositions from multiple NPP sites and locations in a given NPP with respect to activation energy could provide some guidance on property sensitivity and insulation variations. To address the issue of material thickness, an initial assessment of the influence of the CPSE individual jacket was also done. This was motivated by the different combinations of EPR insulation and CSPE individual jacket thicknesses that were found in harvested cables and previous measurements. Accelerated thermal aging of BIW-manufactured EPR insulation with individual CSPE jackets removed did show that the CSPE layer affected insulation degradation, further comparison of the compositional make-up of the CSPE and EPR for both BIW and Okonite insulation, along with a limited amount of additional accelerated aging, is needed to increase the level of confidence regarding the influence of the CSPE.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1649646
Report Number(s):
ORNL/SPR-2018/863
M3LW-18OR0404015
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Duckworth, Robert. Activation Energies of Harvested Boston Insulated Wire and Okonite Cable Materials. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1649646.
Duckworth, Robert. Activation Energies of Harvested Boston Insulated Wire and Okonite Cable Materials. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1649646
Duckworth, Robert. 2018. "Activation Energies of Harvested Boston Insulated Wire and Okonite Cable Materials". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1649646. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1649646.
@article{osti_1649646,
title = {Activation Energies of Harvested Boston Insulated Wire and Okonite Cable Materials},
author = {Duckworth, Robert},
abstractNote = {As part of the Cable Aging Task within the Material Aging and Degradation (MAaD) pathway of the DOE Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) program, ORNL is collaborating with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NCR) to study cable aging mechanisms. Understanding cable aging mechanisms in cable nuclear power plants (NPPs) with needed information as they seek plant life extensions to 80 years of operations. This report summarizes activities in the characterization of harvested electrical I&C cables related to activation energy and their role in determining the remaining margin of time cable insulation in NPPs can be used. Activation energy is the amount of energy that is required to break chemical bonds in a polymer through an endothermic reaction. For I&C cables that are utilized in NPPs, activation energy is used with a time and temperature dependent cable property like elongation at break (EAB) and/or an electrical property like voltage withstand to determine whether a cable insulation material meets the performance requirements for the environmental conditions such as temperature, radiation, and humidity for a given plant location. Considering differences in activation energies that were observed in harvested cable jackets when compared to previous measurements, an assessment of the cable insulation activation energy in harvested I&C cables was performed given that the insulation performance ultimately determines that lifetime performance for a cable. This assessment consisted of the mechanical and chemical characterization of harvested Boston Insulated Wire (BIW) and Okonite cable insulations from Zion NPP from a series of thermal accelerated aging exposures between 140°C and 160°C. Cables were obtained as part of the LWRS Zion Harvesting Project in cooperation with Energy Solutions and the NRC. Activation energies of 1.10 eV and 0.61 eV were obtained for BIW and Okonite manufactured ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) insulation with individual chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) jackets respectively. When compared to previous measurements, the activation energy of BIW agreed well, while there was a sizeable gap for previous Okonite activation energies near 0.91 eV. The lack of agreement could be attributed to differences in raw materials used in a given insulation and/or jacket, differences in the thicknesses of the EPR insulation and CSPE individual jacket or the environmental conditions that the insulation from previous measurements experienced prior to characterization especially if cables were not stored at manufacturer recommended conditions. Comparison of harvested insulation compositions from multiple NPP sites and locations in a given NPP with respect to activation energy could provide some guidance on property sensitivity and insulation variations. To address the issue of material thickness, an initial assessment of the influence of the CPSE individual jacket was also done. This was motivated by the different combinations of EPR insulation and CSPE individual jacket thicknesses that were found in harvested cables and previous measurements. Accelerated thermal aging of BIW-manufactured EPR insulation with individual CSPE jackets removed did show that the CSPE layer affected insulation degradation, further comparison of the compositional make-up of the CSPE and EPR for both BIW and Okonite insulation, along with a limited amount of additional accelerated aging, is needed to increase the level of confidence regarding the influence of the CSPE.},
doi = {10.2172/1649646},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1649646}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}