Nuclear EMC Testing Services

Nuclear EMC Testing Services

EMC for Nuclear

WLL has over 20 years of experience supporting the nuclear power industry, providing expert EMC engineering for operators and manufacturers. Our expertise in Nuclear EMC Qualification to EPRI TR-102323 and Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC Reg Guide 1.180 includes equipment test and qualification and site surveys for nuclear plant upgrades.

Nuclear EMC Testing Overview

The implementation of digital control and monitoring systems in nuclear power plants drives EMC requirements for new and replacement equipment to be used in nuclear plants. For the past 20 years, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has been developing test methods to demonstrate compliance with EMC requirements. The methods and limits are called out in EPRI TR-102323. The first issue of this report was released in 1994 and the current revision (Revision 4) was released in 2013. The original report and basis included results from electromagnetic surveys at seven nuclear power plants in the United States.

The objective of the EMC guidance and evaluation programs is to control emissions from electronic systems and equipment in order to minimize the impact on the plant electromagnetic environment as well as establish immunity performance to minimize interference and unintended operation when equipment is installed. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), similarly, has requirements for equipment prior to commissioning in nuclear plants. NRC Regulatory Guide RG 1.180 codifies these requirements and was originally released in 2000; NRC RG 1.180 references the EPRI TR-102323 report.

From the foreword of EPRI TR-102323 © EPRI: adobeico2

“Nuclear power plants are replacing obsolete analog instrumentation and control (I&C) systems with more efficient and economical digital systems. The NRC is concerned about the effects of EMI and radio-frequency interference (RFI) on the safe and reliable operation of digital systems. EPRI published a guide in 1997 to develop practical alternatives to ensure electromagnetic compatibility of safety-related digital equipment in nuclear plants. It established bounding emission limits based on plant measurements and used these bounds to establish susceptibility test limits that provided adequate margin of safety. To ensure adherence to bounding limits, the guide recommended controlling emissions of systems/equipment in close proximity. The EPRI guidance has been a de facto standard followed by domestic and nuclear plants to justify digital upgrades of safety-related equipment.”

Scope of Nuclear EMC Testing Services

Continued commissioning of nuclear power plants requires strict adherence to Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) conformance. Commissioning of digital equipment upgrades requires a well-planned and thorough EMC evaluation.

Washington Laboratories has over 20 years of experience supporting the nuclear power industry, providing expert EMC engineering for operators and manufacturers.

We have extensive experience in a variety of engineering and testing programs for compliance with NRC Regulatory Guide 1.180 and EPRI TR-102323. We perform testing at our laboratory facilities near Washington, DC as well as on-site at plant and manufacturer locations.

Our specialties include equipment testing, evaluation and engineering geared to meet product standards and performance requirements for safety and other critical equipment to be installed in the Nuclear Plant environment.

We assess existing plants to determine the existing Radio Frequency (RF) environment and support planning and installation of equipment to minimize interference during commissioning and operation. We have made direct site visits to over 40 nuclear facilities across the US, and have the expertise to assess EMC issues, address system and component design and proper control measures.

We also provide expert training programs that cover EMC issues, compliance with regulatory requirements, design, installation and maintenance for continuing electromagnetic compatibility.

Specific services include:

EMC Test Plan Development: Washington Laboratories develops test plan documents for customized and tailored EMC test programs. Proper test plans identify critical areas of equipment performance to examine. By identifying the levels and application of test stimuli, a proper EMC profile of the equipment under test can be developed. The Test Plan is a cooperative arrangement with the manufacturer or supplier of the test article, where installation, environment and operation of the equipment are detailed and potential vulnerabilities are discussed and tailoring of the test levels.

EPRI TR-102323 specifies MIL-STD and Commercial evaluation methods. The choice, and any tailoring, should be examined by the manufacturer and installation and integration team.

EMC Test Procedure Development: A detailed Test Procedure is often specified for performing EMC testing. A Test Procedure typically flows from the Test Plan and details the method of performing an EMC evaluation. The procedure is a step-by-step document that describes the operation of the equipment and the application of the specific testing.

The Procedure should be developed in cooperation with the design/integration team to identify potential areas of concern. Often, the procedure will be provided to the end-user/customer for approval and/or comments.

EMC Test Support. Washington Laboratories has been performing EMC testing for over 25 years, with specific emphasis and capability in the EPRI TR-102323, NRC Regulatory Guide 1.180, MIL-STD-461, IEC 610000-x series and related test methods.

Specific methods include:

  • Conducted Emissions: CE101, CE102, CE106, CISPR 22
  • Conducted Susceptibility: CS101, CS103, CS114, IEC 61000
  • Radiated Emissions: RE101, RE102, CISPR 32
  • Radiated Susceptibility: RS103, IEC 61000
  • Transient Testing: CS115, CS116, IEC 61000

Specific experience has been garnered for safety-critical circuits and systems related to monitoring and control equipment in the plant environment.

We are fully equipped with anechoic chamber facilities, radiated and conducted instrumentation, transient, CW and CW-modulated signal sources. We are mobile and can perform qualification tests at customer locations.

Site Surveys In addition to equipment qualifications, we perform site surveys to assess plant and surrounding environment. This is especially critical for deployment of systems in facilities that have not be characterized. Wireless system deployment and support of systems designs to minimize interference is a growing part of our activity.

Standards and References

EPRI TR-102323 Revision 1 (1994) and Revision 2 (2000): Guidelines for Electromagnetic Interference Testing of Power Plant Equipment NRC Regulatory Guide RG 1.180 (2000):

IEC 1000-4-2 FCC Part 15
IEC 1000-4-3 MIL-STD 461C
IEC 1000-4-4 MIL-STD 461D
IEC 1000-4-5 MIL-STD 462
IEC 1000-4-6

EPRI 102323

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) TR-102323 is the guidance document that equipment manufacturers and plant operators nuclear plants must adhere to when replacing equipment or deploying new equipment. It is very similar to NRC Reg Guide 1.180. Typically, the plant operator has the choice of which standard to use.

This guideline specifies the emissions and immunity criteria that new equipment, which is deployed in a nuclear power plant, is capable of operating in such a manner that ensures the safe and reliable operation of the nation’s nuclear plants.

The emission requirements are put in place in order to ensure that new equipment installed at a nuclear facility do not generate excessive RF energy that could adversely affect surrounding equipment. The immunity requirements, which include such test as radiated susceptibility, conducted susceptibility, surge and magnetic immunity testing, are used to verify that equipment will not be effected by natural phenomenon such as lighting strikes and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) or manmade phenomenon such as radio transmissions or other equipment that is operating nearby.

There are two paths that a manufacture may take when testing to TR-102323. The first path uses the Military standards MIL-461-STD test of CE101, CE102, RE101 and RE102 for emission testing methods. For immunity testing following the MIL-461-STD path, CS101, CS114, CS115, CS116, RS101 and RS103 are used. The second path is to use the Commercial standard, which specify International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards or the FCC 47CFR15 for emissions. Immunity standards are IEC 61000-4-2, IEC 61000-4-3, IEC 61000-4-4, IEC 61000-4-5, IEC 61000-4-6, IEC 61000-4-8, IEC 61000-4-9, IEC 61000-4-10, IEC 61000-4-12, IEC 61000-4-13, IEC 61000-4-16 and IEC 61000-4-18.

No matter which path the manufacture takes, the above referenced standards define the methodology only. The limits and requirements are specified in TR-102323.

 

NRC RG 1.180

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Regulation Guide (RG) 1.180 is very similar to EPRI TR-102323. The plant operator has the choice of which standard to use.

This guideline specifies the emissions and immunity criteria that new equipment, which is deployed in a nuclear power plant, is capable of operating in such a manner that ensures the safe and reliable operation of the nation’s nuclear plants.

The emission requirements are put in place in order to ensure that new equipment installed at a nuclear facility do not generate excessive RF energy that could adversely affect surrounding equipment. The immunity requirements, which include such test as radiated susceptibility, conducted susceptibility, surge and magnetic immunity testing, are used to verify that equipment will not be effected by natural phenomenon such as lighting strikes and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) or manmade phenomenon such as radio transmissions or other equipment that is operating nearby.

There are two paths that a manufacture may take when testing to TR-102323. The first path uses the Military standards MIL-461-STD test of CE101, CE102, RE101 and RE102 for emission testing methods. For immunity testing following the MIL-461-STD path, CS101, CS114, CS115, CS116, RS101 and RS103 are used. The second path is to use the Commercial standard, which specify International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards or the FCC 47CFR15 for emissions. Immunity standards are IEC 61000-4-2, IEC 61000-4-3, IEC 61000-4-4, IEC 61000-4-5, IEC 61000-4-6, IEC 61000-4-8, IEC 61000-4-9, IEC 61000-4-10, IEC 61000-4-12, IEC 61000-4-13, IEC 61000-4-16 and IEC 61000-4-18.

No matter which path the manufacture takes, the above referenced standards define the methodology only. The limits and requirements are specified in TR-102323.

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