• Aging of nuclear power plant cables: in search of non-destructive diagnostic quantities
  • Verardi, Luca <1986>


  • ING-IND/33 Sistemi elettrici per l'energia


  • The safety systems of nuclear power plants rely on low-voltage power, instrumentation and control cables. Inside the containment area, cables operate in harsh environments, characterized by relatively high temperature and gamma-irradiation. As these cables are related to fundamental safety systems, they must be able to withstand unexpected accident conditions and, therefore, their condition assessment is of utmost importance as plants age and lifetime extensions are required. Nowadays, the integrity and functionality of these cables are monitored mainly through destructive test which requires specific laboratory. The investigation of electrical aging markers which can provide information about the state of the cable by non-destructive testing methods would improve significantly the present diagnostic techniques. This work has been made within the framework of the ADVANCE (Aging Diagnostic and Prognostics of Low-Voltage I\&C Cables) project, a FP7 European program. This Ph.D. thesis aims at studying the impact of aging on cable electrical parameters, in order to understand the evolution of the electrical properties associated with cable degradation. The identification of suitable aging markers requires the comparison of the electrical property variation with the physical/chemical degradation mechanisms of polymers for different insulating materials and compositions. The feasibility of non-destructive electrical condition monitoring techniques as potential substitutes for destructive methods will be finally discussed studying the correlation between electrical and mechanical properties. In this work, the electrical properties of cable insulators are monitored and characterized mainly by dielectric spectroscopy, polarization/depolarization current analysis and space charge distribution. Among these techniques, dielectric spectroscopy showed the most promising results; by means of dielectric spectroscopy it is possible to identify the frequency range where the properties are more sensitive to aging. In particular, the imaginary part of permittivity at high frequency, which is related to oxidation, has been identified as the most suitable aging marker based on electrical quantities.


  • 2014-03-11


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Verardi, Luca (2014) Aging of nuclear power plant cables: in search of non-destructive diagnostic quantities, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettrotecnica , 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6246.