Evaluation of critical nuclear power plant electrical cable response to severe thermal fire conditions
Taylor, Gabriel James
Milke, James A
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The failure of electrical cables exposed to severe thermal fire conditions are a safety concern for operating commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has promoted the use of risk-informed and performance-based methods for fire protection which resulted in a need to develop realistic methods to quantify the risk of fire to NPP safety. Recent electrical cable testing has been conducted to provide empirical data on the failure modes and likelihood of fire-induced damage. This thesis evaluated numerous aspects of the data. Circuit characteristics affecting fire-induced electrical cable failure modes have been evaluated. In addition, thermal failure temperatures corresponding to cable functional failures have been evaluated to develop realistic single point thermal failure thresholds and probability distributions for specific cable insulation types. Finally, the data was used to evaluate the prediction capabilities of a one-dimension conductive heat transfer model used to predict cable failure.