Vol. 6 No. 3 (2015): IJPHM Special Issue on Nuclear Energy PHM
The International Journal of Prognostics and Health Management (IJPHM) is the premier online open access journal related to multidisciplinary research on Prognostics, Diagnostics, and System Health Management. This special issue is focused on advances in research in condition monitoring applications to nuclear energy.
The first commercial nuclear power stations began operation in the 1950s. Since that time nuclear energy generating capacity has grown to 430 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries, with 372,000 MWe of total capacity. That equates to over 13% of the world's capacity and has proven to be a reliable method for generating base-load capacity. Nuclear Power remains the single largest contributor (more than 70 percent) of non-greenhouse-gas- emitting electric power generation in the United States.
As the world's current nuclear fleet lifetimes are extended beyond 60 years, it is vital that they continue to be operated safely and efficiently. Understanding the failure modes, being able to detect precursors to failure, tracking degradation mechanisms, and predicting the remaining useful life of components and systems is vital to the continued success of nuclear power. With world electricity demand expected to double between 2000 and 2030 and currently demand growing at an annual rate of 2.4%, it is vital to keep our current fleet productive and to invest in new technologies to assure future plants are equally safe and reliable.