Advertisement

Simultaneous Thermal and Gamma Radiation Aging of Electrical Cable Polymers

  • Leonard S. FifieldEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)

Abstract

Elevated temperature is the primary source of aging for nuclear power plant electrical cable insulation and jacketing, but gamma radiation is also a significant contributor to structural changes that result in loss of polymer mechanical and electrical properties in affected plant locations. Despite many years of research, the combined degradation effects of simultaneous exposure to thermal and radiation stresses are not well understood. As nuclear operators prepare for extended operation beyond initial license periods, a predictive understanding of exposure-based cable degradation is becoming an increasingly important input to safety, licensing, operations and economic decisions. We focus on carefully-controlled simultaneous thermal and gamma radiation aging and characterization of the most common nuclear cable polymers to understand relative contributions of temperature, time, dose and dose rate to changes in cable polymer material structure and properties. Improved understanding of cable performance in long term operation will help support continued sustainable nuclear power generation.

Keywords

Cables Nuclear Polymers Thermal aging Gamma aging Simultaneous aging 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding for this work has been provided by the Materials Aging and Degradation Pathway of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program and the Nuclear Energy University Program. Data described herein was obtained with the assistance of Birgit Schwenzer, Miguel Correa, Ian Childers, Shuaishuai Liu, Mark Murphy and Andy Zwoster. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the United States Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830.

References

  1. 1.
    A. Ahmed, S.P. Carfagno, G.J. Toman, Inspection, Surveillance, and Monitoring of Electrical Equipment inside Containment of Nuclear Power Plants—with Applications to Electrical Cables (Report NUREG/CR-4257, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1985)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R.F. Gazdzinski et al., Aging Management Guideline for Commercial Nuclear Power Plants-Electrical Cable and Terminations (Report SAND96-0344, Sandia National Laboratories, 1996)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S.W. Glass, L.S. Fifield, T.S. Hartman, Evaluation of Localized Cable Test Methods for Nuclear Power Plant Cable Aging Management Programs (Report PNNL-25432, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2016)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J.J. Carey, Low-voltage Environmentally-Qualified Cable License Renewal Industry Report; Revision 1 (Report EPRI TR-103841, Electric Power Research Institute, 1994)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    BIW, Bostrad 7E Cables, Flame and Radiation Resistant Cables for Nuclear Power Plants (Report No. B 915, Rev. 1., BIW Cable Systems, Inc., 1984)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Subudhi, Literature Review of Environmental Qualification of Safety-Related Electric Cables (Report NUREG/CR-6384, Vol. 1, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.T. Busby et al., Expanded Materials Degradation Assessment (EMDA), Volume 5: Aging of Cables and Cable Systems (Report NUREG/CR-7153, Vol. 5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2014)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    K.T. Gillen, R. Bernstein, Review of Nuclear Power Plant Safety Cable Aging Studies with Recommendations for Improved Approaches and for Future Work (Report SAND 2010-7266, Sandia National Laboratories, 2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    L.S. Fifield, S. Liu, N. Bowler, Simultaneous Thermal and Gamma Radiation Aging of Cable Polymers, in IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP) (Toronto, ON, 2016), pp. 11–14Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    L.S. Fifield et al., Characterizing Oxidation of Cross-linked Polyethylene and Ethylene Propylene Rubber Insulation Materials by Differential Scanning Calorimeter (Report PNNL-25172, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2016)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Celina, G.A. George, Characterisation and degradation studies of peroxide and silane crosslinked polyethylene. Polym. Degrad. Stab. 48, 297–312 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    S. Liu, L.S. Fifield, N. Bowler, Towards Aging Mechanisms of Cross-linked Polyethylene (XLPE) Cable Insulation Materials in Nuclear Power Plants, in IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP) (Toronto, ON, 2016), pp. 935–938Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullmanUSA

Personalised recommendations