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Nuclear Science and Engineering Division

High-Pressure Feedwater System

The degree of fault resolution is a function of the installed plant system sensor set

We have used the PRO-AID code to assess the fault resolution capability of the sensor set in the high-pressure feed water system of an existing commercial nuclear reactor. The objective was to provide a measure of the monitoring capability inherent in this system to inform the development of new monitoring and diagnostic center that our utility collaborator is undertaking. The existing sensor set appears in the piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) shown here.

Results

For the collection of components and sensors in the P&ID the PRO-AID code determined the realizable list of faults associated with the two first-point feed water heaters in the figure. Those faults that can be diagnosed are shown in the table.

An understanding of how the sensor set might be modified to increase fault resolution capability from the standpoint of uniqueness of fault diagnosis was also studied. This is described in Sensor Assignment.

Challenges

For the existing reactor fleet, it is a relatively straightforward matter to determine the minimum sensor set that provides a requisite fault diagnosis capability. See the description in the Sensor Set section on the Design page. The challenge is an economic one and is associated with the cost of installing cable runs to support communication with these sensors. However, wireless communication may solve this problem if it can be developed to support reliable and secure communication.