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Reactor protection system with automatic self-testing and diagnostic

United States Patent

5,586,156
December 17, 1996
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Department Website
A reactor protection system having four divisions, with quad redundant sensors for each scram parameter providing input to four independent microprocessor-based electronic chassis. Each electronic chassis acquires the scram parameter data from its own sensor, digitizes the information, and then transmits the sensor reading to the other three electronic chassis via optical fibers. To increase system availability and reduce false scrams, the reactor protection system employs two levels of voting on a need for reactor scram. The electronic chassis perform software divisional data processing, vote 2/3 with spare based upon information from all four sensors, and send the divisional scram signals to the hardware logic panel, which performs a 2/4 division vote on whether or not to initiate a reactor scram. Each chassis makes a divisional scram decision based on data from all sensors. Automatic detection and discrimination against failed sensors allows the reactor protection system to automatically enter a known state when sensor failures occur. Cross communication of sensor readings allows comparison of four theoretically "identical" values. This permits identification of sensor errors such as drift or malfunction. A diagnostic request for service is issued for errant sensor data. Automated self test and diagnostic monitoring, sensor input through output relay logic, virtually eliminate the need for manual surveillance testing. This provides an ability for each division to cross-check all divisions and to sense failures of the hardware logic.
Gaubatz; Donald C. (Cupertino, CA)
General Electric Company (San Jose, CA)
08/ 502,337
July 14, 1995
The Government of the United States of America has rights in this invention in accordance with Contract No. DE-AC03-89SF17445 awarded by the Department of Energy.