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Cable Health Aging Management Program (CHAMP) Basics

Posted by The Fauske Team on 07.16.14


Fauske & Associates LLC (FAI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Company,Cable Conduit hot pipe separation LLC, has extensive experience in evaluating, testing and assessing cable performance. FAI established our Cable Health Aging Management Program (CHAMP) to evaluate and support Cable Condition Monitoring programs. One of the most effective CHAMP processes for evaluating cable performance is via performing visual walkdowns.

For the nuclear power industry, the Generic Aging Lessons Learned (GALL) Report, NUREG-1801, Section XI.E1 provides guidance to applicants for a renewed operating license to develop a program for the management of aging for Non-EQ Insulated Cable and Connections. Our CHAMP program is intended to support plants in complying with the GALL and related License Renewal requirements. In addition, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and other organizations have established procedures, recommendations and best practices for the implementation of effective cable walk down programs.

The FAI CHAMP walkdown program utilizes all of these resources along with lessons learned from previous walkdowns to effectively evaluate and catalog the plant’s cable assets. (Pictured right, an interesting cable conduit hot pipe separation). 

Walkdown Process
A CHAMP cable walkdown assessment to evaluate cable assets, support Maintenance Rule functions, License Renewal Aging Management Programs and/or for other applications involves evaluation of all plant locations that have the potential to have cables located in Adverse Localized Environments (ALEs). This typically involves performing walkdowns both inside containment (during outages) and outside containment (typically during power operation or non-outage).

CHAMP walkdowns are a visual inspection of the ALEs in which observations are made, Infrared thermographs are employed (if allowed) and digital pictures will be taken. Areas of interest that are not readily accessible (i.e., cables within cabinets, cables located in “out of reach” locations, etc.) should be identified in advance, if possible, with the best attempt made to grant access to these during the walkdown (outage or non-outage as appropriate).

A CHAMP walkdown procedure is developed and reviewed with the client prior to initiating the walkdown. The walkdown procedure provides the specific locations and information to be gathered during the walkdown. As a minimum the following information is gathered during the Thermally Degraded Cable Jacketwalkdowns:

• Identification of any damaged cables
• Visual inspection notes
• Infrared temperature of areas that warrant measurement
• Infrared thermography pictures (if permitted)
• Digital photographs of the cables under evaluation
• Potential sources that could be detrimental to the cables under evaluation (i.e., heat sources, moisture, etc.)
• Cataloging of the cable assets 

Throughout the duration of the walkdown process, regular updates of the walkdown findings are provided to the client. If any cables are found to be damaged, or any other conditions are identified that could be detrimental to plant operation or safety, this information is transmitted to the client as soon as possible. At the completion of each walkdown, a walkdown report is issued to the client. (Pictured left, Thermally Degraded Cable Jacket)

Recent Experience, Activities & Capabilities:

• CHAMP Walkdown at a dual unit PWR in the USA – Unit-1 inside & outside containment
and Unit-2 outside containment (complete)
• Cable fire, PRA & performance walkdown at several European BWR & PWR plants (complete)
• Cable fire, PRA & performance walkdown at several USA plants (complete)
• Numerous BWR, PWR & other types of nuclear plant walkdowns to support various programs including cable, PRA, and plant specific issues (complete and ongoing)
• CHAMP Walkdown (continuation project) at a dual unit PWR in the USA – Unit-2 inside containment (Fall 2013)
• CHAMP Walkdown at a dual unit PWR in the USA: Both units inside and outside containment (2014)Un insulated accumulators next to Cable Conduit

Quality Assurance
As requested, work can be performed under FAI’s QA program which is regularly audited and is compliant with 10CFR50 Appendix B and FAI’s ISO 9001 certification. Typically the CHAMP walkdowns are not performed to our QA program. However, they can be if requested. (Pictured right, Un-insulated accumulators next to Cable/Conduit)

The Cable Health Aging Management Program (CHAMP) of Fauske & Associates LLC (FAI), an affiliate of the Westinghouse Electric Company, provides several services including experience performing plant cable walkdowns. To discuss your specific issues and how we can assist you, please contact us at, (630) 323-8750,


Topics: cable safety, cable integrity, cable fault, cable damage, cable asset, cable user, cable manufacturer, nuclear


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