Nuclear Power

09 Oct 2021

ORNL Spin-Off's Tech Approved for Use in U.S. Nuclear Plants

09 Oct 2021  by   

Analysis and Measurement Services Corp. (AMS), a spin-off company from Oak Ridge National Laboratory research received formal approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Washington, D.C. for implementation of its online monitoring (OLM) technology in nuclear power plants.

"This technology promises to save nuclear plants millions of dollars in maintenance costs while improving plant safety and reducing radiation exposure to plant personnel," a news release stated.

“Today, nuclear plants calibrate hundreds of pressure, level, and flow transmitters about every two years, although only a few of them normally need a calibration. With the regulatory approval of AMS’s OLM technology, plants can identify if and when a transmitter needs a calibration and thereby reduce the number of unnecessary calibrations by as much as 90 percent. AMS first implemented the OLM technology at the Sizewell B Nuclear Power Plant near London, England in 2005 saving the plant as much as five million dollars in maintenance and production costs every 18 months. The implementation of OLM in U.S. plants was pending NRC approval which was just issued to AMS,” AMS President H.M. “Hash” Hashemian stated.

Besides AMS, nuclear industry scientists and engineers at the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, Idaho National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory have worked on OLM development for over 30 years with nearly $100 million in research funding leading to the NRC approval this year through a topical report (TR) that AMS prepared with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and submitted to the NRC for approval.

AMS is a spin-off company from research efforts at the University of Tennessee and ORNL. Today, AMS is a global nuclear engineering firm headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, with representatives in Austria, China, France, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Since its inception in July 1977, AMS have been providing the worldwide nuclear industry with products and services to measure instrumentation and control (I&C) system performance and to verify compliance with technical specifications and regulatory requirements. In addition to performing field measurements in nuclear power plants, AMS carries out equipment development, laboratory testing, technical training and high-level technology research and development projects for a number of national and international organizations and governmental agencies.

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