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Calibration through on-line monitoring of instrument channels

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1 Author(s)
James, R.W. ; Electr. Power Res. Inst., Palo Alto, CA, USA

Plant technical specifications require periodic calibration of instrument channels, and this has traditionally meant calibration at fixed time intervals for nearly all instruments. Experience has shown that unnecessarily frequent calibrations reduce channel availability and reliability, impact outage durations, and increase maintenance costs. An alternative approach to satisfying existing requirements for periodic calibration consists of on-line monitoring and quantitative comparison of instrument channels during operation to identify instrument degradation and failure. A Utility Working Group has been formed by EPRI to support the technical activities necessary to achieve generic NRC acceptance of on-line monitoring of redundant instrument channels as a basis for determining when to perform calibrations. A topical report proposing NRC acceptance of this approach was submitted in August 1995, and the Working Group is currently resolving NRC technical questions. This paper describes the proposed approach and the current status of the topical report with regard to NRC review. While these activities will not preclude utilities from continuing to use existing calibration approaches, successful acceptance of this performance-based approach will allow utilities to substantially reduce the number of calibrations which are performed. Concurrent benefits will include reduced I&C impact on outage durations and improved sensitivity to instrument channel performance

Published in:

Nuclear Science Symposium, 1996. Conference Record., 1996 IEEE  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

2-9 Nov 1996