Screening Tests of Representative Nuclear Power Plant Components Exposed to Secondary Environments Created by Fires (NUREG/CR-4596)

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Publication Information

Date Published: June 1986

Prepared by:
Mark J. Jacobus

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM 87185
operated by
Sandia Corporation
for the U. S. Department of Energy

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555
Under Memorandum of Understanding DOE 40-550-75

NRC Fin No. A1010

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This report presents results of screening tests to determine component survivability in secondary environments created by fires, specifically increased temperatures, increased humidity, and the presence of particulates and corrosive vapors. Additionally, chloride concentrations were measured in the exhaust from several of the tests used to provide fire environments. Results show actual failure or some indication of failure for strip chart recorders, electronic counters, an oscilloscope amplifier, and switches and relays. The chart recorder failures resulted from accumulation of particulates on the pen slider mechanisms. The electronic counter experienced leakage current failures on circuit boards after the fire exposure and exposure to high humidity. The oscilloscope amplifier experienced thermal-related drift as high as 20% before thermal protective circuitry shut the unit down. In some cases, switches and relays experienced high contact resistances with the low voltages levels used for the measurements. Finally, relays tested to thermal failure experienced various failures, all at temperatures ranging from 150°C to above 350°C. The chloride measurements show that most of the hydrogen chloride generated in the test fires is combined with particulate by the time it reaches the exhaust duct, indicating that hydrogen chloride condensation may be less likely than small scale data implies.

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