Aqueous Degradation in Harvested Medium Voltage Cables in Nuclear Power Plants

  • R. C. DuckworthEmail author
  • A. Ellis
  • B. Hinderliter
  • E. Hill
  • M. Maurer-Jones
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


For medium voltage (MV) power cables with voltages between 5 and 35 kV that provide power to emergency and safety support systems in nuclear power plants (NPPs), degradation and failure of cables due to water exposure has occurred. Systematic studies of current NPP MV cable systems are being carried out to determine and characterize cable-aging mechanisms and provide greater accuracy to models being developed to predict MV cable field performance to support existing cable aging management and monitoring programs. To validate models based on representative laboratory specimens, samples from harvested MV cable systems are being subjected to accelerated aging and degradation from humid conditions and submergence. Degradation will be characterized via partial discharge and voltage endurance testing of the cable and induced water tree growth in insulation. The technical approach to be used for the testing harvested MV cable samples is presented.


Cross-linked polyethylene Water degradation Medium voltage cables 



This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (

This work was conducted as a collaborative project between ORNL and UMD and is supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy NEUP. Special appreciation is given to Drew Mantey of EPRI and Bodgan Fryszczyn and staff at Cable Techology Laboratories for their guidance and feedback on the test program and for providing harvested MV cable samples they obtained as part of their harvesting activities with existing nuclear power plants.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Duckworth
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Ellis
    • 1
  • B. Hinderliter
    • 2
  • E. Hill
    • 2
  • M. Maurer-Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.University of Minnesota-DuluthDuluthUSA

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