January 20, 2023
Conference Paper

Dose Rate Effects in the Aging of Nuclear Cable Insulation Subjected to Gamma Radiation


In nuclear power plants (NPPs), the aging of polymer-based electrical cable insulation must be effectively monitored to ensure the safe and reliable operation of NPPs. Gamma radiation is one of the main environmental stressors causing degradation of cable insulation. For a given total dose of absorbed gamma radiation, damage due to gamma irradiation may be dose rate dependent. The purpose of this work is to confirm whether a dose rate effect exists for the cable insulation made by crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) and ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), quantify the relationship between degradation rate and dose rate, and explore the correlation of different measured properties. The dose rate effects at 1800 Gy/h, 200 Gy/h, and 100 Gy/h using 60Co gamma irradiation on cable aging was studied. Different types of cable insulation, including two XLPEs and one EPR, were irradiated at the different dose rates with a total dose around 300 kGy at 26 °C. The properties of unirradiated and irradiated samples were characterized by mass change, yellowness index, and other ongoing measurements. Dose rate effects were observed for mass change data of XLPE and EPR.

Published: January 20, 2023


Li D., A. Sriraman, Y. Ni, I.R. Ellis, M.P. Spencer, A. Zwoster, and L.S. Fifield. 2022. Dose Rate Effects in the Aging of Nuclear Cable Insulation Subjected to Gamma Radiation. In IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP 2022), October 30-November 2, 2022, Denver, CO, 372-375. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-175819. doi:10.1109/CEIDP55452.2022.9985382

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