The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and the IEEE today
announced the joint publication of new international guidelines for
condition monitoring of electrical equipment installed in nuclear power
plants. The organizations have also published three affiliated standards
detailing specific techniques that can be used to perform the condition
The series of international standards and guidelines, IEC/IEEE 62582, Nuclear
power plants -Instrumentation and control important to safety-Electrical
equipment condition monitoring methods, is intended for use
by nuclear power plant operators, system evaluators, test laboratories,
and licensees of nuclear power plants.
The standards are particularly important because they focus on condition
monitoring of electrical equipment that performs vital nuclear power
plant safety functions. A very important application is condition
monitoring of electrical cables, which not only provide power needed to
operate electrical equipment in nuclear power plants but also transmit
signals to and from the various instrumentation and control equipment
that performs safety and accident mitigation functions.
Historically, nuclear power plant operators have monitored electrical
cables through periodic in-service testing of the equipment to which it
is attached; however, the testing has not focused on the condition
monitoring of cables, nor has it been able to detect all of the various
aging and other degradation mechanisms that a particular cable might be
susceptible to in the operating environments. While these tests can
demonstrate how equipment functions under the test conditions, they do
not verify the equipment's continued successful performance, when fully
loaded for extended periods, as they would under normal service
operating conditions or design-basis conditions. Nor does in-service
testing provide specific information on the status of degradation of
equipment due to aging or the physical integrity and dielectric strength
of the insulation and jacket materials of cables.
"While many countries and individual power utilities are pursuing smart
grid strategies that integrate renewable energy supplies, nuclear plants
will continue to provide an important source of power for society for
many more years and the industry needs to continue to focus on the
safety of these plants," said Gary Johnson, Chairman of IEC SC45A and
Senior Safety Officer at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"IEC/IEEE 62582 establishes, for the first time, a worldwide common
standard of a series of condition monitoring techniques that can be
selected and applied, as appropriate, to establish the actual condition
of new or installed equipment. This test helps establish a baseline,
which in turn allows nuclear plants to determine, with a high degree of
confidence, how long equipment will be able to perform as expected, even
in the event of a severe accident," said Satish Aggarwal, Chair of the
IEEE Nuclear Power Engineering Committee.
"These monitoring techniques are important because they can be used at
both new and existing nuclear power plants around the world. The
decision to use a particular technique or combination of techniques will
deped on the type of equipment involved, the type of condition
information needed and a variety of site- and plant-specific factors,"
explained Kjell Spang, Project Leader of the joint IEC/IEEE Development
Team, who represents the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority in IEEE SC-2
and IEC SC45A. "IEC/IEEE 62582 provides very pragmatic approaches that
can be used to address important safety needs."
The IEC and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) collaborated
extensively to develop these standards to promote international
uniformity in the practice of electrical equipment condition monitoring.
The IEC/IEEE 62582 series of standards was published under a joint
agreement between IEC and IEEE, which was put in place in 2008 to foster
the harmonization of technology standards used in different regions and
The use of standardized condition monitoring approaches and techniques
has many benefits for nuclear power plant operators. Standardized
methods yield compatibilities for data collected from various sites and
regions, facilitate the exchange of information and experiences, make it
possible to build databases characterizing the condition of monitored
equipment over time, and encourage the broad acceptance of results.
The initial standards also represent the culmination of significant
research conducted by the nuclear industry.
This new series of international standards includes the following:
62582-1, Part 1: GeneralThis standard establishes the
need for condition monitoring and summarizes the various techniques
plant operators can use as applicable and appropriate to their plants.
62582-2, Part 2: Indenter modulusThis standard contains
detailed descriptions of condition monitoring based on indenter modulus
measurement techniques, which are primarily used to test cable jackets,
insulation and o-rings that are installed in low-voltage environments.
62582-4, Part 4: Oxidation induction techniquesThis
standard specifies methods for using oxidation induction techniques to
take samples from organic and polymeric materials in electrical
equipment, e.g. cable jackets or insulation.
Two additional methods will be added to IEC/IEEE 62582 as they are
developed and completed by IEC and the IEEE-SA. The forthcoming
standards, and the techniques they will address, include the following:
About the IECThe IEC is the world's leading organization
that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical,
electronic and related technologies - collectively known as
"electrotechnology." It brings together 164 countries and over 10,000
experts on the global level. IEC International Standards include
globally relevant specifications and metrics that allow electric or
electronic devices to work efficiently and safely with each other
anywhere in the world. IEC work covers a vast range of technologies from
power generation, transmission and distribution to home appliances and
office equipment, batteries, nanotechnology, renewable energy, to
mention just a few. The IEC supports all forms of conformity assessment
and manages Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that equipment
systems or components conform to its International Standards.
About the IEEE Standards AssociationThe IEEE Standards
Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE,
develops consensus standards through an open process that engages
industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE
standards set specifications and best practices based on current
scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of
over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development.
For more information visit http://standards.ieee.org.
About IEEEIEEE, a large, global technical professional
organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of
humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology
standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the
trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems,
computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric
power and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.
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