Competition, resource constraints and the need to maximize generation while minimizing production costs of their generating assets have resulted in nuclear power plant owners increasingly paying more attention to thermal performance monitoring. The benefits of thermal performance monitoring have been well-articulated in reports published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Using a case study, this paper discusses the goals, objectives and features that were envisioned in developing a thermal performance monitoring system (TPMS) specification for a nuclear power plant. To achieve the greatest return on investment, a TPMS specification combining “on-line” and “off-line” features and technologies was proposed. This would permit utilization of existing plant instrumentation and parameters measured both locally and remotely along with the capability to accommodate additional instrumentation.