Nuclear power plants collect and store large volumes of heterogeneous data from various components and systems. With recent advances in machine learning (ML) techniques, these data can be leveraged to develop diagnostic and short-term forecasting models to better predict future equipment condition. Maintenance operations can then be planned in advance whenever degraded performance is predicted, thus resulting in fewer unplanned outages and the optimization of maintenance activities. This enables lower maintenance costs and improves the overall economics of nuclear power.
This paper focuses on developing a short-term forecasting process that leverages a feature selection process to distill large volumes of heterogeneous data and predict specific equipment parameters. A variety of feature selection methods, including Shapley Additive Explanations (SHAP) and variance inflation factor (VIF), were used to select the optimal features as inputs for three ML methods: long short-term memory (LSTM) networks, support vector regression (SVR), and random forest (RF). Each combination of model and input features was used to predict a pump bearing temperature both 1 and 24 hours in advance, based on actual plant system data. The optimal inputs for the LSTM and SVR were selected using the SHAP values, while the optimal input for the RF consisted solely of the response variable itself. Each model produced similar 1-hour-ahead predictions, with root mean square errors (RMSEs) of roughly 0.006. For the 24-hour-ahead predictions, differences could be seen between LSTM, SVR, and RF, as reflected by model performances of 0.036 +- 0.014, 0.0026 +- 0, and 0.063 +- 0.004 RMSE, respectively. As big data and continuous online monitoring become more widely available, the proposed feature selection process can be used for many applications beyond the prediction of process parameters within nuclear infrastructure.
short-term forecasting, support vector regression, long short-term memory, Shapley Additive Explanation, Variance Inflation Factor, Random Forest, Feature selection, feedwater and condensate system, nuclear
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