Random noise techniques in nuclear power plants have been developed for system surveillance and for analysis of reactor core dynamics. The noise signals also contain information about sensor dynamics, and this can be extracted using frequency, amplitude and time domain analyses. Even though noise analysis has been used for sensor response time testing in some nuclear power plants, an adequate validation of this method has never been carried out. This paper presents the results of limited work recently performed to examine the validity of the noise analysis for sensor response time testing in nuclear power plants. The conclusion is that noise analysis has the potential for detecting gross changes in sensor response but it cannot be used for reliable measurement of response time until more laboratory and field experience is accumulated. The method is more advantageous for testing pressure sensors than it is for temperature sensors. This is because: 1) for temperature sensors, a method called Loop Current Step Response test is available which is quantitatively more exact than noise analysis, 2) no method currently exists for on-line testing of pressure transmitters other than the Power-Interrupt test which is applicable only to force balance pressure transmitters, and 3) pressure sensor response time is affected by sensing line degradation which is inherently taken into account by testing with noise analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal