A new optical torque measuring method was applied to diagnosis of thermal efficiency of nuclear power plants. The sensor allows torque deformation of the rotor caused by power transmission to be measured without contact. Semiconductor laser beams and small pieces of stainless reflector that have bar-code patterns are employed. The intensity of the reflected laser beam is measured and then input into a computer through an APD and an A/D converter having high frequency sampling rates. The correlation analysis technique can translate these data into the torque deformation angle. This angle allows us to obtain the turbine output along with the torsional rigidity and the rotating speed of the rotor. The sensor was applied to a nuclear plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, following its application success to the early combined cycle plants and the advanced combined cycle plants of TEPCO. As the turbine rotor of the nuclear power plant is less exposed than that of the combined cycle plants, the measurement position is confined to a narrow gap. In order to overcome the difficulty in installation, the shape of the sensor is modified to be long and thin. Sensor performance of the nuclear power plant was inspected over a year. The value of the torsional rigidity was analyzed by the finite element method at first. Accuracy was improved by correcting the torsional rigidity so that the value was consistent with the generator output. As a result, it is considered that the sensor performance has reached a practical use level.

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