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Title: Digital Sensor Technology

The nuclear industry has been slow to incorporate digital sensor technology into nuclear plant designs due to concerns with digital qualification issues. However, the benefits of digital sensor technology for nuclear plant instrumentation are substantial in terms of accuracy and reliability. This paper, which refers to a final report issued in 2013, demonstrates these benefits in direct comparisons of digital and analog sensor applications. Improved accuracy results from the superior operating characteristics of digital sensors. These include improvements in sensor accuracy and drift and other related parameters which reduce total loop uncertainty and thereby increase safety and operating margins. An example instrument loop uncertainty calculation for a pressure sensor application is presented to illustrate these improvements. This is a side-by-side comparison of the instrument loop uncertainty for both an analog and a digital sensor in the same pressure measurement application. Similarly, improved sensor reliability is illustrated with a sample calculation for determining the probability of failure on demand, an industry standard reliability measure. This looks at equivalent analog and digital temperature sensors to draw the comparison. The results confirm substantial reliability improvement with the digital sensor, due in large part to ability to continuously monitor the health of a digitalmore » sensor such that problems can be immediately identified and corrected. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a latent failure condition of the sensor at the time of a design basis event. Notwithstanding the benefits of digital sensors, there are certain qualification issues that are inherent with digital technology and these are described in the report. One major qualification impediment for digital sensor implementation is software common cause failure (SCCF).« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Technology Resources, Dana Point, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1179383
Report Number(s):
INL/CON--14-33917
TRN: US1500168
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 9. International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control, and Human Machine Interface Technologies, Charlotte, NC (United States), 23-26 Feb 2015
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; SENSORS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; RELIABILITY; DIGITAL SYSTEMS; ACCURACY; MONITORS; COMPUTER CODES; PRESSURE GAGES; THERMOMETERS; IMPLEMENTATION; digital technology; nuclear power