STP697

    Acoustic Monitoring for Leak Detection in Pressurized Water Reactors

    Published: Jan 1979


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    Abstract

    Acoustic emission (AE) offers significant promise for the monitoring of the structural integrity of nuclear power plants. The capabilities of acoustic monitoring for monitoring primary leaks in pressurized water reactors (PWR) are investigated in the current study on the basis of laboratory evaluation studies conducted under simulated plant conditions and on the basis of several plant monitoring experiences. The laboratory studies included a variety of localized steam leaks through circular orifices and fatigue-generated, through-wall cracks in pressurized pipe systems. The results are considered in light of an aerodynamic energy model. Also included in the study are leaks through a number of defective valves. Under plant monitoring studies, signal attenuation measurements on reactor pipe systems, tests on controlled leaks, and detection of natural plant leaks are considered. A modified plant heat-up method is suggested that will greatly enhance signal-to-noise ratio during the critical period of pressurization, when most AE would be expected.

    Keywords:

    acoustic emission, primary leaks, nuclear power plants, structural integrity, in-service inspection, reactor pipe systems, signal attenuation measurements


    Author Information:

    Smith, JR
    Senior engineer, senior engineer, and manager, Electrical Systems Development, Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa

    Rao, GV
    Senior engineer, senior engineer, and manager, Electrical Systems Development, Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa

    Gopal, R
    Senior engineer, senior engineer, and manager, Electrical Systems Development, Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa


    Paper ID: STP35083S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E07.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35083S


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