Cable Aging Management Services
Nuclear reactors and facilities worldwide are aging. Westinghouse can help utilities and asset owners develop cable aging management programs to monitor cable health and to plan for cable replacement for lifetime extension.
Westinghouse has more than 30 years of experience in research regarding aging of cable insulation materials and condition monitoring methods. With our accredited laboratory resources in the United States and Europe, and our extensive experience evaluating and testing cable performance at power plants and industrial facilities, we are experienced, well qualified and ready to support and guide you in establishing a successful cable aging management program.
Cable Condition Monitoring
For cables and related electrical equipment such as cable connectors and cable penetrations, which are generally replaceable, plant lifetime extension beyond 40 years, and even 60 to 80 years, requires keeping an updated record of condition status and remaining lifetime of the component materials. We can help with this.
Our Cable Health Aging Management Program (CHAMP) provides you with state-of-the-art cable condition monitoring, which includes visually inspecting cables via walkdowns, testing cables both in the field and via laboratory methods, qualifying new cable to replace aging cables and cable health assessments. CHAMP services are performed under Westinghouse’s Nuclear Quality Assurance program, which is regularly audited and compliant with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 10 CFR 50, Appendix B and 10 CFR 21.
The CHAMP program also can help you achieve compliance with NUREG guidelines and associated requirements. The program uses guidance from The Generic Aging Lessons Learned Report, NUREG-1801, Section XI.E1 and from the Electric Power Research Institute procedures, recommendations and best practices for implementing effective cable walkdown programs. A CHAMP cable walkdown focuses on plant areas where cables may be located in an Adverse Localized Environment. It is performed both inside and outside containment and includes documented visual observations, photographs and infrared thermography. Our extensive experience working in operating plants and facilities along with the use of human performance tools, minimize errors, improve safety and result in efficient quality products.
We regularly perform expedited in-situ cable testing services including Line Resonance Analysis (LIRA®
), Tan Delta, insulation resistance, polarization index, elongation at break (EAB) and infrared thermography. Our nondestructive testing of cables using LIRA provides both a global assessment of a cable’s health along with identifying local areas of degradation.
For aging components that have exceeded their qualified lifetime or that are failing, we can use our equipment qualification, dedication and reverse engineering experience to retrofit and qualify new components and/or perform engineering evaluations.
We have a long experience of specification for mechanical and electrical components, including cables and connectors. We perform design and prototype drawing of special cables for operation at extreme environmental conditions, and refurbish position indicators, and manufacture position sensors, limit switches and SIRM electronics. We also have extensive experience in cable and electrical equipment replacement during power uprates and to meet enhanced safety requirements. This includes cable replacement in containment as well as cable penetration replacements.
Laboratory Resources for Equipment Qualification
Our accredited laboratories use procedures regarding acceleration factors for thermal aging, dose rates and sequences that are based on many years of experience and on national and international research within the United States, the European Union and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Our design basis accident (DBA) or loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA) chambers and facilities exceed all the current and next-generation nuclear plant accident profiles, including our AP1000® plant.
We can qualify cables, cable systems, cable splices, cable connectors and connection wires for conditions varying from mild to harsh environments according to national standards, including Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 323 and IEEE-383 and other international standards. We perform artificial aging according to required national regulations/standards based on procedures including thermal, mechanical, irradiation, climatic, vibration, pressure cycle and electric load aging.
Our test methods include: DBA (sometimes called LOCA testing), extreme operation, submergence, seismic, insulation resistance, volume resistivity, surface resistivity, voltage withstand, coil and recoil, EAB, compression set, peel, sheer strength, hardness, calorimetry, torque and force load, mechanical wear, thermo gravimetric and far infrared.
Westinghouse has the experience and capabilities to meet or exceed all of your goals for long-term operation of cables and related electrical equipment from monitoring to testing to qualification and replacement.
Want to learn more about how we can help with your cable aging management program? Contact James Raines, manager, CHAMP, at +1 (630) 887-5241 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Johan Götberg, manager, Component Qualification, at +46 21 347656 or email him at email@example.com.