Adapting plant measurement data to improve hardware fault detection performance in pressurised water reactors

24 October 2013

With the fairly recent adoption of digital control and instrumentation systems in the nuclear industry a lot of research now focus on the development expert fault identification systems. The fault identification systems enable detecting early onset faults of fault causes which allows maintenance planning on the equipment showing signs of deterioration or failure. This includes valve and leaks and small cracks in steam generator tubes usually detected by means of ultrasonic inspection. Detecting faults early during transient operation in NPPs is problematic due to the absence of a reliable reference to compare plant measurements with during transients. The distributed application of control systems operating independently to keep the plant operating within the safe operating boundaries complicates the problem since the control systems would not only operate to reduce the effect of transient disturbances but fault disturbances as well. This paper provides a method to adapt the plant measurements that isolates the control actions on the fault and re-introduces it into the measurement data, thereby improving plant diagnostic performance.