Online condition monitoring or online monitoring (OLM) uses data acquired while a nuclear power is operating to continuously assess the health of the plant's sensors, processes, and equipment; to measure the dynamic performance of the plant's process instrumentation; to verify in-situ the calibration of the process instrumentation; to detect blockages, voids, and leaks in the pressure sensing lines; to identify core flow anomalies; to extend the life of neutron detectors and other sensors; and to measure the vibration of reactor internals. Both the steady-state or DC output of plant sensors and their AC signal or noise output can be used to assess sensor health, depending on whether the application is monitoring a rapidly changing (e.g., core barrel motion) or a slowly changing (e.g., sensor calibration) process. The author has designed, developed, installed, and tested OLM systems (comprised of software/hardware-based data acquisition and data processing modules) that integrate low-frequency (1 mHz to 1 Hz) techniques such as RTD cross-calibration, pressure transmitter calibration monitoring, and equipment condition monitoring and high-frequency (1 Hz to 1 kHz) techniques such as the noise analysis technique. The author has demonstrated the noise analysis technique's effectiveness for measuring the dynamic response-time of pressure transmitters and their sensing lines; for performing predictive maintenance on reactor internals; for detecting core flow anomalies; and for extending neutron detector life. Integrated online condition monitoring systems can combine AC and DC data acquisition and signal processing techniques, can use data from existing process sensors during all modes of plant operation, including startup, normal operation, and shutdown; can be retrofitted into existing PWRs, BWRs, and other reactor types and will be integrated into next-generation plants.
From H. M. Hashemian
Appeared in Kerntechnik 2010/05, Page 231-242
Direct link: http://www.nuclear-engineering-journal.com/KT110102
Integrated online condition monitoring system for nuclear power plants [504 KB]
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